British motorists want electric cars as 78% say it’ll hurt the environment if they don’t give up petrol and diesel cars

Are you considering switching to an electric vehicle?
Are you considering switching to an electric vehicle?

One in five drivers still don’t know a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars is coming in 2030

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Half of British drivers say they’d like to help the planet by switching to an electric vehicle, but more education on the benefit of EVs is needed to give confidence, say industry experts.

To mark Clean Air Day, new research by Volkswagen Financial Services (VWFS) shows UK drivers understand how switching to an EV can help the planet – with 78% saying it’ll hurt the environment if they don’t give up petrol and diesel cars.

But 59% think the current average cost needs to fall by at least £15,000. Plus, with the majority of new cars being bought on finance, the monthly repayments on an average EV need to drop by more than £201 .

A Peugeot being charged using a Source London EV charging point.
A Peugeot being charged using a Source London EV charging point.

However, with the government due to ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, more than one in three motorists (36%) in the UK think it’ll take at least another decade, until 2040, before most cars on British roads are electric.

And one in five (21%) still don’t know a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars is coming in 2030.

Professor Peter Wells of the Cardiff University’s Centre for Automotive Industry Research , who worked with Volkswagen Financial Services UK on this research, says more needs to be done to educate consumers:

A Tesla car using a Source London EV charging point.
A Tesla car using a Source London EV charging point.

“What the research tells us is that the British public have an appetite for electric vehicles with a clear understanding that it is better for the environment. While there have been great strides in the industry to get greater access to EVs, more needs to be done to help potential EV buyers. There is concern over the financial risks, but also concerns over range and the availability of charge points."

The research also found that half (50%) of UK motorists say they worry about having access to enough charging points, with more than one in three (35%) concerned about the range of an EV on a single charge.

However, there are around 35,000 public charging points across the UK (and rising), and the electric Volkswagen ID.3 can travel for 300 miles on a single charge – so the industry needs to address some of these common misconceptions.