Eight in 10 motorists think EVs are too expensive.

One in every 10 drivers plans to buy an electric car when the time comes to replace their current vehicle, according to new research. A study by the RAC has found nine percent of the drivers surveyed expect to make their next car an electric vehicle (EV), but eight in 10 still think battery-electric cars are too expensive.

The survey conducted as part of the RAC’s annual Report on Motoring quizzed 3,000 drivers, revealing increased desire to own an electric vehicle compared with previous years. In the 2019 study, just six percent planned to buy an EV next, and that was up from just three percent in 2018.

However, 78 percent of those quizzed said they felt electric cars were still too expensive when compared with conventionally powered counterparts. A large proportion of respondents said they would like to see government incentives to help increase EV uptake, with 53 percent favouring a VAT cut on EVs and 48 percent supporting a scrappage scheme.

Volkswagen ID.3 and e-Golf at Tesco charging station

But cost isn’t the only concern for drivers, with four in 10 (43 percent) saying they want to see the government set a “binding” target for access to public charge points. Three in 10 (28 percent) also want to see the cost of charging at a public charge point capped to prevent profiteering.

And drivers want cars with plenty of range from a single charge. According to the survey’s respondents, a range of 375 miles is desired, despite almost six in 10 (58 percent) of car journeys covering less than five miles. At present, the RAC says the average range of the 10 most popular EVs stands at just 235 miles, with just one model – the Tesla Model S – offering the range demanded by customers.

“With 2030 now clearly set as the date for the end of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans, momentum behind getting more of us into EVs is building,” said RAC data insight spokesperson Rod Dennis. “And it’s clear that an increasing proportion of drivers are responding, with nearly one in 10 now planning to opt for a pure electric next time they change their car.

“But the single biggest barrier to a driver choosing an electric car over one powered by petrol or diesel has to be cost. Although good finance leasing deals and offers such as free home charging for a set period can help, it appears to be the case that the price of many new EVs remains prohibitively high for a lot of people, with most drivers keen to see more financial help from the government to bring costs down.”

Porsche Taycan 4S