The UK is at a tipping point, with electric car sales set to soar, once drivers overcome the many myths or misconceptions, according to new AA research.
Based on AA members’ car buying intentions and future trends, the AA expects there will be more than 500,000 electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in use by 2020, and it believes that helping to dispel some of the myths associated with running such cars could increase this projection dramatically.
To help do this AA has teamed up with charging point operator Chargemaster to provide advice, support and access to a UK-wide network of chargers.
The new partnership will deliver a range of benefits, including bespoke home charging units, access to thousands of charging points and preferential charging rates.
The AA said its research (an AA-Populus study of 21,877 drivers) shows that if drivers owned an electric vehicle, three-quarters (75%) would expect to charge it overnight, mainly at home while a quarter (25%) would rely on public charging points away from home.
Despite this, nine out of ten drivers are not aware of Government grants to cover up to 75% (£500 max) of home charging point installations and 96% over-estimated or didn’t know the cost of home charging points.
AA president Edmund King said: “We think that the EV revolution is about to take off and we want to help consumers understand the benefits of low cost, low emission driving and to show them it is accessible and affordable. Per mile driven an EV is five times cheaper than the average petrol car and carries no vehicle excise duty.
“Modern electric vehicle designs and performance are comparable to conventional internal combustion-powered vehicles. Concerns and regulations about diesel emissions may also prove to be a tipping point.
“The vast number of car journeys are under 25 miles and a third of households have two or more cars. We estimate that more than two million second cars could be electric tomorrow, with no disadvantages and many cost-saving benefits.
“This is the future of motoring and we are proud to be launching this initiative with Chargemaster. Now is the time to charge up the EV revolution.”
Chargemaster CEO David Martell pointed out that a significant barrier to electric vehicle ownership is concern that when they reach their destination, drivers will not find a charging point available. This worries 81% of respondents to the AA’s research.
“We want to change that perception,” he said. “This new relationship with the AA will see hundreds more AA branded charging points installed. They’ll go in at AA-rated hotels and other accessible public places such as supermarkets, public car parks and town centres while we will be embarking on a public awareness campaign to show that charging a vehicle at home is neither difficult or costly.
“In fact, the cost of a charging point attracts a £500 grant towards the typical £800 cost – meaning that a reliable, fast electric vehicle charter can be installed for around £300. This shows we have much more to do to spread the word.”