Less than half of people who drive would currently consider getting an electric vehicle according to new research from Lex Autolease, despite 61% of respondents saying they are aware

of the government’s target for all new cars and vans to be zero-emission by 2040.

The survey of 2,000 drivers found that the main barrier to buying or leasing an electric car is battery life, even though 54% of drivers travel less than 30 miles a day.

Ashley Barnett, head of consultancy at Lex Autolease, commented: “The government has pledged to eradicate the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, which will mean reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, generating more renewable energy and, crucially, ensuring the mass-market adoption of electric vehicles.

“The way we live our lives – and the way we travel around – will have to change radically, but a significant number of drivers remain reluctant to get on board.

“With more than 26 million drivers planning to replace their car or van in the next 10 years, the opportunity is huge. The government’s target could be in reach if we can educate, encourage and incentivise more people to consider going electric.”

According to the research, more than a fifth (22%) of Brits say they don’t know enough about the different fuel types available and what would suit their driving needs. The possibility of running out of battery mid-journey is the main reason why people might not choose to go electric (55%), with 50% also citing concerns around access to charging facilities. Meanwhile 40% feel that electric vehicles are expensive for what they are, and 38% are dubious about the time needed to charge up – compared with refuelling a petrol or diesel alternative.