New data shows that the number of drivers planning to make the switch to electric has jumped in the last year. A new study for Kwik Fit, the automotive servicing and repair firm who manage the Motability Scheme's replacement tyre service, reveals that 42% of those currently planning to change their car expect their next vehicle to be a low emission hybrid or a full electric vehicle (EV).
This is a significant increase on a year ago, when 37% said they planned to switch to a hybrid or EV (it was 33% in 2020). In contrast, 34% of those planning to change their car said they will opt for a petrol or diesel ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicle next time, with 24% saying they don't know. The figures indicate that in the last year, approximately 800,000 additional drivers have decided that they will opt for a low emissions vehicle for their next car.
These drivers will help increase plug-in vehicle registrations from the current figure of one in five new cars in the UK. However, there are still many motorists not yet ready to make the switch and the research reveals the biggest factors putting people off. The most common reason given is the rise in electricity costs, cited by 39% of those who are not considering switching to fully electric for their next car.
After the rising cost of electricity, the reasons given most often by car owners for not switching to a full EV are the purchase cost compared to equivalent sized ICE alternatives, concerns over range on a single charge and the lack of fast charging points in the areas they commonly drive.
Of those who are planning to change their car, younger drivers are more likely to opt for a low emission vehicle. More than half (51%) of drivers aged 18-34 say their next car will either be a hybrid or EV, compared to 34% of those over 55. There is also gender bias - fewer women drivers (38%) say they will opt for a low emission vehicle next compared to male motorists (45%).
There are also significant regional differences in the proportion of drivers planning to make the switch. London drivers are most likely to say their next car will be low emission, with 55% planning to switch to either electric or hybrid. The capital is followed by the South East and West Midlands, where 53% and 51% respectively say that their next car will be low emission. In contrast, only 30% of drivers in both the North East and East Midlands are planning to opt for an EV or hybrid, with 31% of those in the South West planning to do so.
The survey of 2000 adults also revealed that the cost-of-living crisis has led to many drivers using their car less. However, this varies dramatically depending on the type of vehicle. Of those with an ICE vehicle, 39% say they have decreased the use of their car, compared to the much lower figure of 23% for hybrid or EV drivers.
A recent survey by MotaClarity backs up the Kwik Fit data, indicating that the cost-of-living crisis will force more than half of older and disabled drivers to make fewer journeys and limit their own mobility. The poll of more than 1,000 drivers aged 50 and over found that 54% were considering placing self-imposed limits on their driving in order to save cash in the face of mounting household expenses. More than three-quarters (77%) of those asked were also worried about high cost of EVs compared with petrol and diesel ICE vehicles.