Drivers in the UK say on average they will wait nine years to buy an electric car, according to research by the automotive marketplace Auto Trader.

Drivers said that they’ll wait nine years before they will buy an electric or hybrid vehicle, with lack of charging infrastructure and upfront expense cited as the most common impediments.

Only 26% would consider electric for their next car, the same percentage as when Auto Trader surveyed consumers in March 2017.

Drivers are split as to whether the proposed 2040 ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars is a positive thing - with 40% each in favour and against.

The research indicates that many consumers (38%) remain unaware of policy regarding electric cars, and believe the government’s goal for at least 50% of new cars sold to be electric by 2030 is unrealistic.

Seventy four per cent did not know that the government offers plug-in grants for buyers of electric and hybrid vehicles.

In general, consumers are increasingly mindful of the environmental impact of cars, with 56% of respondents saying that they care more about fuel types than they did 12 months ago.

Negative press around diesel cars has impacted their appeal among consumers, with just over half (52%) of those surveyed admitting that news reports have made them more likely to consider purchasing an alternative fuel car, including electric.

This is supported by consumers performing less searches for diesel cars and more for alternative fuel types (AFVs) on Auto Trader’s marketplace.