The AA has called on the government to introduce a “help-to-buy” scheme that would help individuals make the switch to electric vehicles. The motoring organisation says seven in 10 motorists would be more likely to buy an electric vehicle (EV) if there were some form of benefit to help them buy such a vehicle.

The survey of more than 14,500 drivers showed such a “help-to-buy” scheme for either new or used EVs would make 70 percent of drivers more likely to switch. Among such schemes, the most popular option was a mirroring of Scotland’s recently closed Electric Vehicle Loan, which offered customers a zero-percent loan on an electric car over three to five years.

Other popular incentives included the often-mooted possibility of scrapping VAT on new electric vehicles, or reinstating the £3,500 Plug-In Car Grant that was previously available in the UK for electric cars. However, among those on low incomes, a zero-percent loan or a grant were deemed the most popular policies.

Kia Niro EV (e-Niro) fast charging at IONITY

The AA survey comes as the company’s EV Recharge Report for March shows a 15.6-percent reduction in the cost of off-peak ultra-rapid charging since the start of the year. According to the organisation, the average price of charging at more than 100kW at off-peak times has fallen from from 71p per kWh in January to 64p per kWh in March.

According to the AA, that means an average cost of 13.48p per mile for drivers of a Vauxhall Corsa-e, which makes off-peak ultra-rapid charging marginally cheaper than fuelling the equivalent petrol-powered Corsa – something the AA says cost 14.01p per mile in March. However, when charging at peak times, the tables are turned, with ultra-rapid charging costing 16.63p per mile.

Nissan Leaf 2021 Canto system

The price of flat-rate ‘slow charging’, at up to 7kW, was also down slightly in March compared with February, bringing the price almost in line with domestic electricity costs.

“The second consecutive month of falling prices on the fastest types of charging is great news and is further boosted by flat rate slow charging almost meeting parity with domestic electricity costs,” said Jack Cousens, head of roads policy at the AA. “With more drivers wanting to take advantage of greener and cheaper travel, now is the time to offer ‘help to buy’ schemes to accelerate the uptake of electric cars.

“The appetite is there, but EVs feel out of reach to many. The fact that drivers are interested in buying a used EV shows that fears and concerns over battery life and longevity are beginning to fall away. This could be the perfect time to energise the EV market.”