Full charged electric car concept. Electric car owner is looking to battery condition of his car on smart phone app

Quarter of UK households plan to buy electric or hybrid car in next five years

Image credit: Jakub Jirsák/Dreamstime

New research suggests that around one in four households across the UK plan to buy an electric car or plug-in hybrid in the next five years.

Over 6.5 million households plan to buy an electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid, the research by the energy watchdog Ofgem found – this equates to 24 per cent, or nearly one in four, of all energy households.

But the survey found that more than a third (38 per cent) of households said they were unlikely to buy an electric vehicle in the next five years, with 59 per cent of them saying the price is too high, 38 per cent voicing concerns about a short battery life and short range, and 36 per cent worried about having nowhere to charge their electric vehicle close to home.

The report comes ahead of a new campaign by the regulator to coincide with the COP26 being held in Glasgow this November where global leaders will discuss green initiatives and greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

The Climate Change Committee, an independent public body that advises the UK government and devolved governments, anticipates that about 18 million battery and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will be on the road by the time the government introduces a ban on the sale of new internal combustion vehicles in 2030.

But a recent report by the Public Accounts Committee said the government would miss the 2030 target without urgent action to improve infrastructure. It found that only 13 electric car models on sale in the UK currently cost less than £30,000.

Ofgem said the government needs to bring in changes because electric vehicle owners are more open to embracing changes in how they use their energy, including signing up for 'time of use' tariffs to charge vehicles during off-peak periods.

“As more consumers make the switch to electric vehicles in the next five years, Ofgem will announce millions of pounds of investment to create a more flexible energy system to support the electrification of vehicles, renewable generation and low-carbon forms of heat,” said Jonathan Brearley, Ofgem’s chief executive.

“Securing the investment is only half of the answer,” Brearley added. “Nations can only tackle climate change if consumers are engaged in the process. For this to happen the transition to a low-carbon economy needs to be fair, inclusive and affordable.”                    

Most consumers (three-quarters) recognised that electricity generation and transport, such as fossil fuel power stations and exhaust emissions, play a big part in contributing to climate change, the Ofgem report added.

But the research found that only 60 per cent identified that domestic heating, like gas boilers, plays a major role. The International Energy Agency said governments should ban gas boilers from 2025 to achieve net-zero emissions by the middle of the century.

Last April, a report by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) found nearly 20 per cent of all new cars that joined UK roads last year were either fully electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles – an all-time record.

E&T investigated whether the UK is geared up for the rise in EVs. It found the nation will only be in a position to ban new petrol cars by 2035 if the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles is fit for purpose.

Sign up to the E&T News e-mail to get great stories like this delivered to your inbox every day.

Recent articles