New research conducted by Go Ultra Low, the joint government and industry campaign to promote the uptake of electric vehicles, has found that two thirds (69%) of people expect “electric cars” to be referred to simply as “cars” by the year 2030.
The research, which looked at the normalisation process of new technology, found people seeing their family and friends driving them (33%), as well more being visible on the road (49%), as the two main factors driving a change in the way we perceive EVs. This comes as registrations for battery electric vehicles hit a record high, with a 93.1% increase in year-to-date registrations compared with the same timeframe last year.
When asked what factors would improve the likelihood of purchasing an EV, close to half (45%) of respondents cited improved charging infrastructure. The UK’s constantly growing network currently has more than 25,000 charge point connectors, at over 9,500 locations; with more than 500 new devices installed in the last the 30 days. A recent government announcement committed £70 million worth of investment into the UK’s rapid charge network, increasing the size from 2,100 to over 5,000 chargers.
Meanwhile, a quarter (25%) of those surveyed said a wider variety of models would increase their purchase consideration. The same research found that, on average, people believed there were only 15 models available; however, there are 24 fully electric and hydrogen models and 27 plug-in hybrids available to buy, with this number set to double over the next 12 months2. As well as this, due to investment from the industry and support from government, prices for electric cars are set to be comparable to their petrol and diesel counterparts by the mid-2020s.
New Go Ultra Low Ambassador Ben Fogle, broadcaster, writer and adventurer, said: “It’s really encouraging to see that people expect EVs to be the norm in just over a decade. Our research shows that as we become more aware of the benefits of owning an electric car, the choice of models available and the rapidly growing charging infrastructure, people are more likely to consider going green and buy an EV.
Commenting on joining the campaign, Ben added: “More and more people are embracing electric vehicles, but there’s still a job to be done. I’m excited to be on this journey with Go Ultra Low and playing my part in supporting this transition.”
As well as welcoming Ben as an ambassador, this year’s campaign is set to be the largest yet, as Go Ultra Low now includes Audi, BMW, DS, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, MINI, Peugeot, Renault, smart, Tesla, Toyota and Volkswagen, with more joining soon.
As well as this, to enable the campaign to provide a more comprehensive view of EV ownership, for the first time Go Ultra Low is also joining forces with energy providers. Centrica, EDF Energy, E.ON, Octopus Energy (and their sister company Octopus Electric Vehicles) and SSE Enterprise have all joined the campaign to help consumers and organisations understand the benefits, cost savings, and capabilities that EVs offer.
Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps said: “We want to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality to safeguard our children’s future and leave the environment in a better state than we inherited it.
“The Go Ultra Low campaign is just one example of how Government and industry are working together to make the UK the best place in the world to own and run an electric vehicle, as we drive towards a greener future.”
Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “As electric vehicle sales reach record high, the potential of this market for the UK car industry and wider economy is huge.
“We are committed to achieving our aim for all new cars and vans to be effectively zero emission by 2040 and I welcome the Go Ultra Low Campaign which will further support the transition to electric cars on our roads.”
Poppy Welch, Head of Go Ultra Low, added: “When we look at the EV market, it is clear we’re on the way towards electric mobility becoming part of everyday life for UK motorists. Electric cars are great to drive, can be very cheap to run and help improve local air quality. With, prices moving closer to that of their petrol or diesel counterparts, an expanding chargepoint network and an increasing number of models available, there has never been a better time to consider an EV as your next car.
“As we welcome Ben as our ambassador and a host of new members to the campaign – bringing together government and key players across the EV industry – we’re now better placed than ever to tell the full story of electric car ownership.”[source: Go Ultra Low]