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Lack of information to blame for drivers not making electric vehicle switch

Lack of information to blame for drivers not making electric vehicle switch

(Posted on 29/03/18)

A lack of charging points and a shortage of information are to blame for drivers not switching to electric vehicles according to research from the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI).

More than three quarters of drivers polled (82%) said they don’t know enough about electric vehicles to wave goodbye to their petrol/diesel. Two thirds (66%) said they wouldn't know where to find a charging point and nearly a third say they will never change to electric.

This is not great for the government, which has set a target of 2040 for a complete ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol vehicles.  Londoners appear to be most unsure about electric vehicle range yet are the most confident about owning an electric vehicle. 

The IMI study found that three quarters of drivers who hadn't yet made the switch felt extra government subsidies would make electric vehicles more accessible.  They believe government needs to do more to educate car buyers on the benefits of switching from petrol/diesels to low emission vehicles.   

Steve Nash, chief executive of the IMI, said: ‘Range anxiety is one of the main reasons drivers are put off making the switch. Yet the IMI found that people’s weekly mileage is between 60-100 miles, which means that most drivers could actually make the switch to an ultra-low emission vehicle and would only need to charge their car once a week.’

The IMI research also identified the lack of knowledge about the expertise and training required to service and maintain electric vehicles.  It found that 9 in 10 drivers are not aware of the current training and qualifications necessary for technicians to work on an electrified vehicle.  Yet, more troublingly, over half (59%) of respondents said they would be confident to perform basic maintenance tasks on an electric vehicle themselves.

With no minimum training benchmark currently in place for technicians and car technology becoming increasingly complex and potentially more hazardous, the IMI is working with government to implement a Licence to Practise for vehicle technicians working on electric and hybrid vehicles.

Nash added: ‘The fact that over half of motorists thought they could do basic maintenance on an electric vehicle is also a huge concern.  With technology in vehicles moving at a record pace it’s more important than ever that those undertaking service, maintenance and repair are regularly trained and properly qualified to a recognised standard. This guarantees their safety in working on and around high-voltage systems and ensures that the owners of electrified vehicles can have confidence that their vehicles are in competent hands.’

Fleetsauce reported back in October that motorway services and large petrol retailers are now required to install charge points for electric cars.

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