Most drivers won't switch to an electric car despite hated Ulez expansion and daily tax

An electric car charging

Around 57 per cent of drivers in London have decided against an EV

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 02/09/2023

- 07:30

Drivers are still concerned about the availability of public chargers and range issues

More than half of all Londoners are avoiding buying an electric vehicle even despite the impact of the Ultra Low Emission Zone expansion.

New data has found that 57 per cent of drivers inside Greater London have either decided against an EV, or never considered the switch.

One in four motorists feel that maintaining an electric car would be more costly than a petrol or diesel vehicle, despite not needing to pay the £12.50 daily charge.

This research comes as London deals with the first week under the new terms of the Ulez scheme, having been expanded to the boundary of Greater London at the end of August.

A Ulez sign

The Ulez expansion took place on August 29


The scheme has been met with widespread criticism from motorists, some of whom have taken to the streets to protest the emissions-based charging format.

An estimated 700,000 drivers are liable to pay the Ulez charge following the expansion as they continue to drive non-compliant vehicles.

If this were to happen, Transport for London would be raking in a staggering £8.7million from Greater London alone.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has been vocal in his support of the scheme and how it will reduce emissions in the capital and slowly cut the number of highly polluting vehicles on the road.

A new study, from Wagonex, has found that just seven per cent of Londoners currently own or drive an electric car, with a further 36 per cent never considering a switch.

The main reasons given for not considering a switch included uncertainty stemming from the public charging network, the range of the vehicle and a love of their favourite models.

Toby Kernon, founder and CEO of Wagonex, said: “Despite best efforts to make London EV ready, the lack of charging infrastructure, accessibility and range anxiety are still understandable concerns for those living in London, particularly with the upcoming ULEZ changes imminent.

“While it has previously been the norm to own or lease a car full-time, is it still appropriate in 2023, when lifestyles and financial outgoings have changed so significantly?

“Drivers need to ask themselves how an EV fits into their lifestyle, and if it would be beneficial to trial an EV without the long-term commitment of owning it, to alleviate their fears.”

Despite widespread concerns, more than a third of motorists (36 per cent) in London are still planning on making the switch in the next year or two.

There has been a recent increase in the number of rapid and ultra-rapid public chargers across the UK, potentially giving motorists the confidence to switch.

Toby Kernon continued, saying: "Over the last few years, we’ve seen driving trends change so significantly.


An anti-Ulez sign

A number of Ulez protests took place


“Continued interest in remote and hybrid working, alongside an increased sense of eco-consciousness have all played a part in how we drive today.”

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