Electric cars fast becoming households' primary vehicle

Ultra low emission vehicles (ULEV) are increasingly being used like 'normal' cars, a new Government study has found.

Electric vehicles are increasingly used as the main vehicle by drivers

Electric vehicles are increasingly used as the main vehicle by drivers

In households which own ULEVs, 82% use the low emission car as their main vehicle, while 20% of people who own electric vehicles use it as their only vehicle.

The new figures show people do not only use ULEVs for short-distance journeys and use diesel or petrol cars for main longer drives. The research found plug-in electric cars are being driven a comparable amount to conventionally fuelled cars.

The report also found 90% of ULEV owners would recommend buying an electric vehicle to others, with most owners positive about buying another electric vehicle in future.

High satisfaction

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “As this report shows, plug-in vehicles are cheap to run, can be used every day and owner satisfaction is incredibly high.

“More and more families and businesses are choosing plug-in cars and vans to help them get on in life. The government is investing £500 million over the next five years in ultra low emission vehicles, innovative technology and charging infrastructure to support jobs and growth and keep Britain as a global leader for ULEVs.”

The report found the UK electric vehicle market now represents around 1% of all new car sales, reached in the final quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of 2015.

Range anxiety remains the greatest downside for electric vehicle owners, with most owners choosing to recharge their cars at home rather than using a workplace or public charging point.

The Department for Transport report found saving fuel was the most important reason for buying an electric vehicle with 58% of buyers citing this reason. More than 40% said ‘the environment’ was a factor with 17% and 9% citing ‘climate change’ and ‘air pollution’ respectively.

Consumer benefits

Electric vehicle body Go Ultra Low said the report challenge misconceptions about electric vehicles due to the high satisfaction rates. Head of Go Ultra Low Hetal Shah said: “Brits are really starting to wake up to benefits of electric motoring. With driving costs from as little as 2p a mile, coupled with the wide range of cars now available, from city run-arounds and family hatchbacks to 4x4s and sports cars, there’s an electric car to suit almost every lifestyle.”

The UK’s electric vehicle market is growing rapidly, with sales up 256% year on year according to Go Ultra Low and sales of ULEVs reached more than 9,000 in the first quarter of 2015. The industry is also spurring new technological developments and the Department for Transport announced yesterday a new study into wireless charging for electric vehicles on motorways.

Recent Government reports have suggested the demand for ULEVs is being driven by grants and low road tax on vehicles.

Matt Field


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