Drivers hesitant about electric vehicle switch amid serious price and battery range concerns

An electric car charging

Drivers now have a choice of over 100 electric cars to pick from

Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia

Published: 29/05/2024

- 14:08

Updated: 29/05/2024

- 14:27

The UK could become a hub for an electric car market as over 100 models now on offer

New research has found that the main concerns when looking to buy an electric vehicle include the upfront price and the battery range as more than half of drivers cite these as the top reasons.

The data comes as more drivers mull over whether to switch to an EV and move away from petrol and diesel cars, ahead of the 2035 deadline.

Research from Direct Line EV Insurance also highlighted how build quality (20 per cent), safety (18 per cent) and driving experience (14 per cent) were all also important factors.

Meanwhile, almost a quarter of drivers said they would consider an EV from a new manufacturer, especially if they are cheaper.

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A BYD dealership

Chinese brands like BYD are increasing their scope in the UK


As more brands look to the UK as a market for EVs, drivers now have the choice of over 100 electric vehicle models from a range of manufacturers.

This includes popular Chinese brands including BYD, Ora and Chery, with other brands Seres and Skywell set to arrive in the UK later this year.

Chinese manufacturers may be inclined to look at the UK and European markets in response to harsh import tariffs of 100 per cent introduced recently by Joe Biden and the US Government.

Looking at the data by demographic, the insurer found key differences between gender and age when considering an EV.

Both men and women consider price to be the most important factor (both 52 per cent), while men (47 per cent) have more of an interest in the battery range than women (43 per cent).

Notably, when it came to safety, women were more concerned (23 per cent) than men (13 per cent).

Steven Williams, head of electric vehicle strategy for Direct Line, explained that it's clear that price point is the most important consideration when purchasing a new EV.

He added that Britons are willing to consider new EV brands they have not heard of if “they’re priced competitively”.

He said: “It’s great to see so many brands present, or soon to be present in the UK, this provides those considering the move to electric with plenty of choice to suit their budget, preference, and needs.”

When looking at age differences, young people are less focused on price than older generations with 35-54-year-olds most concerned (57 per cent).

However, drivers over 55 years old were seen to be far less focused on brand names, whereas 18–34-year-olds are more likely to select an EV based on its brand.


Electric car charging

There are over 1.1 million electric cars in the UK


Over 55 year olds were also more concerned about vehicle range (53 per cent) than any other age bracket.

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