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Recent analysis by global automotive analysts, Sophus3, has revealed that potential electric car buyers who are looking for new cars are becoming increasingly confused and frustrated by their online experience.
Despite car buyers being effectively ‘ready’ for electric vehicles (EVs), car manufacturers are missing sales and slowing down the EV uptake by keeping buyers in the dark over certain aspects of electric transport.
Recent Sophus3 analysis showed interest in EVs is rising on car websites – up 60% year-on-year in 2017, but most consumers are not choosing to buy electric, with only 2% of the UK new car market making the decision to get an EV.
Some of the reasons behind the slow uptake of EVs is blamed on consumers being frustrated with their online experience. Buyers are keen for more information and are more prone to request a test-drive.
Below, Trusted Dealers answers 5 key questions prospective buyers should be asking when considering purchasing an electric car.
Why should I change to electric?
One of the easiest answers there is, but yet some car brands are still attempting to appeal to consumers but citing EVs as an ‘alternative’ or ‘lifestyle’ choice. Sophus3’s analysis shows that EV considerers should be at a point whereby they are comparing petrol, diesel, hybrid or electric on an even keel, and looking at elements such as running costs, monthly payments and ownership practicalities.
How far do I travel in a day?
A lot of EVs have a more limited range than a traditional car, although the ranges are improving significantly all the time. At present, a 2018 Nissan Leaf offers 235 miles, with some of the premium models such as a Tesla Model S promising as much as 335 miles on battery power alone. If you cover a considerable amount of mileage per week, an EV which runs solely on battery power may not be the right option for you, but a plug-in hybrid car which runs on a combination of fuel and battery power could potentially bridge that gap.
Can I charge my electric vehicle?
If you have a driveway and access to a normal UK socket, you will be able to charge your car at home. Charging from your standard household supply will take around 8 hours, but the government are now providing funding towards the cost of having a rapid charger installed in people’s homes to support a much faster full charge of around 2-3 hours. If you’re out on the road and you need to charge your car, there are now Apps available for motorists to find the nearest charger to their location. The idea of drivers getting stranded with an uncharged vehicle is a thing of the past when there is currently in the UK a charge point infrastructure of more than 5000 locations.
Will I need to replace my car’s battery?
Claims that owners of EVs will have to regularly replace their car’s battery at a high cost to them are not true. In fact, the battery of an EV will last hundreds of thousands of miles before it will need to be replaced, in fact, many EVs will keep their original battery pack for their entire life. To put buyer’s minds at rest, manufacturers such as Nissan are offering their customers the option to pay into a battery replacement plan, so that if they were to have to replace the $5,500 battery pack, they would be prepared for this type of cost.
How will owning an electric car affect my electricity bill?
Powering your electric car will of course increase your electricity bill but manufacturers have said you will still be a lot better off without having to make trips to the fuel pump. Some electricity companies are now offering EV owners cheaper rates for electricity used overnight to help reduce costs, and buyers are advised to compare and switch to the best energy deal they can to ensure they are charging their EV at the cheapest possible rate. In addition, some suppliers are starting to offer energy plans designed for electric car households. These tariffs may come with discounted rates or free membership to a network of charging points across the UK. According to the Energy Saving Trust, it costs anywhere from £2 to £4 to charge up your EV to a range of 100 miles..
Scott Gairns, Sophus3 Managing Director, said: “As Governments and local authorities continue the process of forcing diesel cars off the roads and high-profile pure electric brands such as Tesla make headlines, our analysis shows that the consumer is taking note, is interested in electric, but is still massively confused.
“But in today’s digital world it is vital that car-buyers are provided with all the knowledge they need, in the form that they consume it, and at the time they want it from those responsible for charging networks, selling cars and developing technologies. If not, there is a looming gap between “interest” and “purchase” that will leave older diesel and petrol cars on the roads, undermining the UK’s drive to be a leading electric vehicle market.”