Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, has confirmed significant investment to support the UK in retaining the physical and environmental benefits of the coronavirus lockdown, including promoting the take up of electric vehicles (EVs). However, a survey by Venson Automotive Solutions reveals motorists have little confidence in government bodies when it comes to advice on buying and owning an EV, with just 2% of car buyers saying that the government would be their go-to information source.
The Venson survey showed that buyers favour independent advice from consumer motoring titles offering reviews by unbiased experts (58% use these sites). Manufacturers came in second with 44% of respondents seeking information here, followed by 31% of people seeking information and advice from friends and family who already driven an EV.
The survey also revealed that the recent increase in EV appetite has been driven by a desire to reduce emissions (for 47% of respondents), but confidence in the practicalities of ownership remains low. Just 9% of women feel more confident in owning and maintaining an EV, and 18% of men.
The Transport Secretary stated that the car industry has been hit severely during the current crisis, but said it is encouraging to see that April’s car sales reported, for the first time, the two most popular models were both electric. Mr Shapps went on to confirm a doubling of the funds available for the on-street residential chargepoint scheme, with an additional £10 million now being made available, to encourage more drivers to switch to electric as cars will remain vital for many families.
Alison Bell, Marketing Director at Venson Automotive Solutions commented: “It is encouraging to see the government making such an important financial injection to rekindle growth in the motor industry and boost EV take-up at the same time. As we take tentative steps out of lockdown restrictions, the industry needs to collaborate to ensure consumers – be they private or company car drivers – have the confidence they need to make the switch and become EV drivers. Independent experts clearly have a big role to play in driving change and supporting manufacturers, as do those friends and family who have already made the transition to electric.”