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Charging and range anxiety still biggest obstacles in switch to EVs, says Venson

By / 11 months ago / Latest News / 1 Comment

While company car drivers are widely switched on to the benefits of switching to EVs, the majority still have ill-founded concerns over a lack of charging and range.

The research indicated drivers still have ill-founded concerns over EV charging and range issues

A new study by Venson Automotive Solutions among business drivers found 69% still had concerns over the UK’s charging infrastructure.

That’s despite analysis by Nissan that has shown there are now more EV charging stations than fuel stations in the UK, with almost 1,000 more public places to charge cars compared to forecourts (some 9,300 as opposed to 8,400 fuel stations). And, according to the Department for Transport, at present, the UK has a network of more than 24,000 public charging connectors at these charging stations.

The Venson survey also reports preconceptions regarding limited battery range; 57% of those surveyed reported this was still a barrier when considering an EV, putting it in a close second when it comes to barriers to EV take-up. Yet, there are a range of affordable electric cars covering 250 miles or more now on the market.

The survey also indicated some ownership concerns. A total of 41% of people surveyed expressed concern over the practicalities of being able to charge their vehicle at home.  And 30% said they had concerns over service, maintenance and repair costs.

On the plus side, and following the newly announced BiK changes that see the tax liability for zero-emission EVs fall from 2% to 0% for the 2020/21 tax year, the Venson study shows that more than two-thirds of company car drivers are very much aware of the costs and convenience of running an EV.

The research also indicated awareness of dealership support in switching to EVs – only 13% of respondents cited lack of ‘try before you buy’ options as an obstacle to purchase. And only 5% of people surveyed said they were worried about manufacturer lead times in acquiring an EV.

Fleet managers looking to dispel user-chooser EV fears can download Venson Automotive Solutions’ ‘Plug-In Vehicle Guide’ for free. Aimed at drivers and intended to help widen their knowledge of the cost and convenience of EVs, the guide answers the key questions creating barriers to drivers considering a plug-in car.

To download the Venson guide, click here.

For more of the latest industry news, click here.

Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

One Comment

  • gc20. Aug, 2019

    Hi Natalie,

    This is another example of blaming the customer for not buying inadequate products. “Ill-founded concerns about charging” and “range anxiety” are not responsible for the limited capability of EVs. Charging IS an issue, especially, but not only, for those who do not have the opportunity to charge at home. Comparing 9000 public charging stations to 8700 fuel stations is disingenuous, when the total number of connectors/pumps is still vastly in favour of fossil-fuels, and the fill time for EVs is so long – even if you degrade your battery by using rapid chargers.

    The “range of EVs capable fo 250 miles on a charge” is Tesla, Model X, Model S and Model 3, (according to the US EPA) so not affordable for most people. Name another with a range of 250-plus miles?

    Affordable might be the tiny Renault Zoe, although it’s still much more expensive than a petrol Clio, Megane, Captur, Kadjar, Scenic. And by the time you’ve leased the battery for 3 years the price compares even more poorly. The Nissan Leaf (155mile range) is more expensive than anything else in the Nissan range except the 370Z and GT-R.

    There are so many poor assumptions about what drivers need. Just for now, the basic 90% of journeys are less than 50 miles, so an EV with a range of 55 miles is capable. No! I do not want to arrive anywhere with 5 miles in the tank, as a contingancy for delays, and no chance to go anywhere else for 4 hours. And who wants to charge their car all night every night? Assuming the V2G fools don’t get involved and use your car to power the grid.

    According to the DfT, on average, the average commuter trip by car is ten miles long (or a twenty mile round trip), taking 30 mins in each direction. This excludes the school run, shopping and social. The average car still does 12000 miles per annum, equivalent to 33 miles per day. The range of an EV is not optimised by lots of stop/starting or slow traffic. And we need to accommodate our LONGEST trips, not our average, or what’s the point in having a car?

    The industry needs to overcome its market anxiety, by addressing range DEFICIENCY and charging infrastructure issues.