More than 90 per cent of drivers in the UK's largest trial of electric cars said they would recommend an electric car to others.
The 12-month trial provided a range of test electric vehicles to private and corporate fleet drivers to use every day and saw more than 300 cars clock up more than one and a half million miles and more than 50,000 recharges over 276,000 trips.
Results of the trial, commissioned by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), published today also showed that 72 per cent of participants said an electric car would suit their day-to-day needs.
Among the key findings of the results report, jointly authored by Cenex and Oxford Brookes University, was how quickly perceptions changed as people got used to driving the electric vehicles.
Phil Smith, chairman of the TSB, said: "The UK is committed to a low-carbon economy, and transport is a key area where change will be needed. This study shows how people will welcome and readily adapt to well-thought-out and effective innovation in this area."
Before the trial, drivers did not anticipate any significant problems with charging their electric vehicle (EV) or any safety issues, and according to the report drivers' actual experiences was that charging was even more straightforward than they expected and they also preferred charging their vehicles at home, rather than using a petrol station.
In pre-trial interviews the key safety concern among participants was the low noise of EVs, but after three months drivers stated they generally paid more attention to pedestrians when driving at low speeds than they would have normally. They also preferred the more relaxing driving experience of an EV.
The report found that little range anxiety was experienced during the trial because the vast majority of drivers kept comfortably within the capable range of the vehicles. Some 75 per cent of daily users consumed less than 50 per cent of the battery capacity.
The trial formed part of the £50m Ultra Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator programme – funded by the TSB, OLEV, industry and other partners – to showcase new and emerging low-carbon vehicle technologies in real world situations, and to identify potential barriers to their wider adoption.