News & Analysis

EV barometer highlights disparity in attitudes to going electric

21st May 2024
Sheryl Miles
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Quarterly results from the Europcar Mobility Group UK electric vehicle (EV) barometer reveal how attitudes vary between private drivers and those who drive for work.

Infrastructure and cost are significantly bigger challenges for private drivers than for company drivers. Those who drive for work believe the lack of model options and vehicle availability are bigger issues for their employers.

In Q1 2024, almost two in three (63%) private drivers surveyed by Europcar were put off making the switch by the purchase and maintenance costs. Half saw the lack of charging infrastructure as a barrier. In contrast, 40% and 34% of company car drivers, respectively, said these barriers are holding employers back from switching to a more sustainable fleet. 

“It is perhaps unsurprising that cost is less of an issue for fleets, who secure and maintain vehicles at trade rates, while private drivers use savings or personal finance options,” commented Tom Middleditch, Head of Electric Mobility at Europcar. “However, it is notable that cost is still an issue for a high proportion of businesses.

“Charging infrastructure has a bad reputation, however, the network is growing rapidly across the UK and although it remains a real concern for business and private drivers, our data suggests it is less significant than upfront and maintenance costs.”

The other big hurdle is knowledge. More than one in five private and business drivers (23% each) admit to a lack of knowledge around EV driving and ownership, highlighting the urgent need for driver and fleet manager education around the options and practicalities of zero emissions mobility.

To help consumers and businesses gain a better understanding of EV life, Europcar regularly updates its free digital EV Guide. The beginner’s guide to EVs answers the most common questions and helps drivers make sense of all the buzzwords and acronyms. It also explains how switching to an EV will help save money and reduce emissions along the way. Importantly, the guide covers EV incentives available and details how to charge an EV, including explaining the different types of chargers.

“Our research has consistently found that uncertainty and misconceptions due to a lack of experience of electric vehicle ownership stand in the way of drivers opting to go electric”, added Tom Middleditch. “We have invested in resources to help inform drivers of the reality of EV driving, as well as constantly adding to our fleet to provide the widest possible choice for renters.

“We believe this knowledge and choice of vehicles are behind the steady growth of interest in electric rental. Customers, whether renting for leisure or business, can drive electric in real world conditions. This helps put fear, uncertainty and doubt to rest and empowers drivers to switch to electric when they are ready."

 

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