Survey reveals electric car home truths

by Alister POOLE on November 21, 2011

Consumer confusion has been cited as the main reason why sales of electric cars haven’t kicked off as well as was expected, according to a recent survey of motorists.

A lack of understanding on the practicalities of electric vehicles is deepest among motorists keen to purchase one, the survey carried out by GfK, a market research company, found. Only 8 per cent of 3,161 motorists that were polled said that they would definitely or most probably purchase an electric car at one stage or another of their motoring lives.

The survey showed that the majority of those that plan to purchase underestimated the costs and the amount of time it takes to charge the vehicles, in addition to overestimating their range. Some electric cars can cost up to £25,000 – even with the aid of a £5,000 government grant.

The poll found that 44 per cent of those intending to purchase one thought that they cost either the same, or not as much as, traditional cars. As well as this, 60 per cent of those planning to purchase reckoned that they would only need to charge the cars for two hours at the most, when the real amount of time is closer to six hours. Additionally, 52 per cent believed that the cars can travel up to 200 miles between charges when actually the range is roughly half that.

Of those that don’t have an interest in buying, 75 per cent said that they were put off by limited battery range while 63 per cent were deterred by how much they cost and 59 per cent had fears about the time it takes to charge batteries.

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