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Consumer price and range ignorance may stall EV salesBack

New research has revealed that electric car sales have been affected by consumer’s confusion over their cost and performance.

An automotive study carried out by GfK has found that motorists have demonstrated a lack of understanding about the practicalities of electric cars, in particular those people who seem most keen to buy one.

The study was conducted on 3,161 British motorists and further findings revealed that 8 per cent of people who admitted to wanting to buy an electric car, had underestimated the cost and time it would take to charge the vehicle. They were also in the dark about the vehicle’s mileage range.

This year, up until the end of October, it has been recorded by the SMMT that only 1,021 new electric vehicles have been purchased in the UK. Electric models currently tend to retail for approximately £10,000 more than petrol equivalents which may explain why the sales figures for electric cars remain low.

The GfK survey stated that 44 per cent of those people intending to buy an electric vehicle believed that the cost of the car was the same as other cars and it also revealed a lack of knowledge in relation to how long an electric car would take to charge, with 60 per cent of prospective buyers believing that charging would take just two hours.

The actual time which is currently possible for an electric vehicle to charge is around 6 hours which might prove unacceptable to many people. Similarly, potential purchasers over-estimated the range which an electric car can travel between re-charging, with more than 52 per cent believing that the range was over 200 miles. In reality the figure is only around half this amount or less.

If you’re thinking about purchasing an electric car over a traditional car, it is well worth doing your homework before you enter the forecourt. Although electric cars have some advantages over other mainstream cars, they will appeal to a more niche market.

If you are looking for a car to use as a city runabout, or you want a suitable car for the school run or for local drop offs then an electric car maybe just the vehicle for you as it will save you on road tax and is thoroughly clean to drive. This means it will produce no CO2 emissions which are damaging to the environment, and you won’t have to fork out on fuel costs.



Posted by Leana Kell on 22/11/2011