Major misconceptions prevent drivers from buying electric cars, study claims

Nearly six in 10 respondents say they would like to own electric cars despite concerns about cost

Grant Bailey
Thursday 27 December 2018 16:45 GMT
British drivers believed a full charge in an electric car would let them travel 184 miles
British drivers believed a full charge in an electric car would let them travel 184 miles

Despite electric cars becoming more popular in recent years, many people still believe misconceptions about them, according to a new study.

Some believed the cars could not be driven through puddles, while one in 20 even believed electric cars were fundamentally less safe than regular cars.

Nearly one in five believe an electric car would slow down as the battery depletes.

The poll of 2,000 drivers also found some worried about electric cars being too quiet – as pedestrians might not hear them approaching.

The research was commissioned by Volkswagen, whose spokesperson said: “Electric vehicles are becoming more mainstream, but it seems many people still have lots of unanswered questions about them.

“Despite overwhelming evidence showing them to be beneficial on environmental grounds, some motorists still have concerns over safety, battery life and charging issues.

“Clearly it is the job of us in the automotive industry to answer these questions, get the correct information out there and make electric vehicles a viable option for people buying new cars in the next few years.”

The study also found out the numerous questions British drivers would ask a car dealer when considering buying an electric car.

Top of the list was simply “How quickly do they charge up?” followed by “How quickly do they run out of charge?”

Fifty-two per cent of drivers also wanted to know how much it cost to fill the “tank” with electricity from a charge point.

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Nearly six in 10 Britons said they would like to own an electric car someday, and would even consider one as their next vehicle.

A third of the population also believed that by the year 2025 most people will drive electric cars, leaving fossil fuels in the past.

However, current issues holding people back from going electric on the road included worries about the cost, range between charges and concerns over whether the support network will disappear.

Nevertheless, 46 per cent said they would like to do their bit for the environment by driving one.

When asked to guess how long it takes to charge an electric car to full capacity, respondents estimated an average of just under eight hours.

And they reckoned the range of a full charge would let them travel for 184 miles.

Volkswagen’s spokesperson added: “Electric cars – like today’s e-Golf and the forthcoming ID. family of models from Volkswagen – do away with all of the concerns highlighted in this survey.

“With the imminent arrival of this new generation of Volkswagen electric cars, our task is to help people understand that they will be able to switch to electric without worrying about range, charging, safety or cost.”


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