High purchase costs could be putting as many as 11 million motorists off buying an electric car, according to new research. A study of 2,000 UK adults by insurance company Direct Line found roughly a third of drivers who don’t currently have an electric car think the up-front costs could be prohibitively high.

The research revealed 32 percent of drivers who don’t currently own an electric vehicle think the cost of buying or leasing such a vehicle is their prime concern, while 32 percent said they thought an electric vehicle would be more expensive to run. Assuming the Direct Line survey quizzed a representative cross-section of the British public, that could mean more than 11 million drivers think up-front costs would be an issue, and 11.5 million think electric cars would be more expensive to run than petrol-powered equivalents.

Audi e-tron at the IONITY fast charging station

Other than cost, the biggest concerns include a lack of access to charging points away from home – a worry for 20 percent of respondents – and a lack of charging at home, which concerned 16 percent of respondents. However, nearly a third of those questioned (31 percent) saud they would be happy to have an electric vehicle charging point installed outside their house.

And despite drivers’ concerns, the survey shows there is still a sizable chunk of the population that’s keen on the idea of a battery-powered car. Around half (49 per cent) of all motorists quizzed – the equivalent of 18 million people – would be happy to own an electric vehicle now or in the future. And among under-35s, that figure rises to 64 percent, with 28 percent happy to own one already.

2018 Nissan LEAF

“Electric cars are rapidly becoming an accepted part of the driving landscape as demonstrated by the number of electric vehicles we now see on the roads,” said Direct Line’s Ian Exworth. “Millions are open to owning an electric vehicle, which is brilliant, but many are still understandably concerned about factors such as cost and infrastructure availability.

“It is fascinating however, that it is the younger drivers who are leading the way with nearly two out of three of them keen to own electric cars. Nearly half of all those who say they want to own an electric car now are under-35 which is a real insight into how the roads of the not too distant future will look.”