Sixty-nine per cent of drivers would not consider buying an electric car, according to analysis of the latest government research by road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).

The research from the Department of Transport, titled Public Attitudes to Electric Vehicles, shows the most important factors deterring motorists from buying an electric vehicle were recharging (40%), the distanced travelled on a battery (39%) and cost (33%).

Currently, less than one per cent of drivers already own an electric car or van. Five per cent said they were thinking about buying an electric car and 18% had thought about purchasing an electric vehicle but later changed their mind.

However, not all motorists are put off the idea of an electric vehicle. Thirty-seven per cent said that lower cost would encourage them to buy an electric vehicle as well as the distance travelled (20%), widely available recharging points (17%) and environmentally friendly (16%). With costs, the most important cost stated was the purchase cost, followed by fuel and recharging costs, maintenance, insurance and vehicle excise duty.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “It is clear that the government have a long way to go to convince drivers that electric vehicles really are the future. On the positive side drivers are not worried about safety or comfort issues, but range anxiety and charging infrastructure remain real stumbling blocks.

“For the good of the environment the IAM want to see quicker roll out of charging points and long-term guarantees that the current £5,000 subsidy will remain in place.”