Together in electric dreams?

28th July 2022
Sheryl Miles

The UK’s largest engineering exhibition, Advanced Engineering UK, has released the findings from its recent survey about the switch to electric vehicles (EVs) in 2030.

The YouGov survey, completed by over 2,000 members of GB adults (18+), reveals that we may be further from the electric vehicle revolution than first thought, with just over half of respondents (54%) saying that they are unlikely to own an EV by the time the switch comes around.

Last month, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced that it was scrapping the EV incentive scheme after eleven years – during which time the grant had shrunk from £5,000 to just £1,500 — to focus on charging infrastructure and other types of EVs.

However, the scrapping of the grant could signal difficulties in reaching the 2030 target, as 41% of people surveyed cited the reason they would not buy an EV is due to the expensive purchase price.

Other concerns were raised about the lack of availability and access to charging points, and questions over the performance range of the vehicles.

“Only six% of our respondents think that the UK is on track to meet its 2030 sustainability goals,” said Aleiya Lonsdale, Head of Marketing at Easyfairs, the organiser of Advanced Engineering. “While EVs are only one tenth of the overall strategy, it is a key point that will impact most of the population of the UK in eight years’ time.”

“The survey illustrates that in order to facilitate a smooth transition to electric vehicles, charging points in the UK will need provide a comparable level of ease to existing petrol stations – something that only 22% of people agree will be provided – as well as being able to withstand the charging demands of an estimated 8 to 11 million electric vehicles on the roads by 2030.”

“The significant growth of EVs by 2030 will present both opportunities and challenges for traditional original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). We can already see from the data that consumers see EVs as a realistic option and are considering the practicalities of ownership. Over the next few years, we expect to see consumer attitude towards the viability of EVs change even further with the proliferation of commercial and mass-transit EVs, such as lorries and electric buses.”

Despite the lack of trust in the drive ranges of EVs and accessibility to charging points, 56% of people said that they would likely take up the offer of a like-for-like electric model of their current vehicle (at no extra cost), showing that, although we are a long way from EVs being a staple on our roads, people are open to the idea of switching their vehicles to a more environmentally friendly alternative, if the right support is offered.

For the UK to be fully electric by 2030, it depends on a high level of technological innovation across the automotive sector. Exhibitors and visitors alike can learn more about the future of EVs and the road to net zero at the auto forum at Advanced Engineering UK, which is hosting various sessions surrounding these topics.

The talks include: ‘“The Britishvolt Effect” powering the UK ahead in the race to net zero’, a keynote talk by Isobel Sheldon OBE, and ‘EV fast charging and battery swapping: a roadmap to ubiquitous public charging infrastructure’, by Shazan Siddiqi, Technology Analyst at IDTechEx.

Some of the latest products, technologies, and services for EVs will also be on show this year in the auto forum at Advanced Engineering UK, which is held at the NEC, Birmingham on November 2 and 3, 2022. For tickets, visit


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