Research reveals younger drivers likely to go electric

Research from Saga Insurance reveals which UK city is the most well equipped for electric vehicle drivers.

With more than half of all vehicle sales forecast to be electric by 2040, the research explores which city is the best place to drive an EV.

A range of factors were analysed, including the availability of charging points, accessibility to off-street parking, cost of charging and clean air zones.

Each city was scored per dataset to create a unique ranking and the research finds Greater London as the most electric-friendly city, followed by Newcastle Upon Tyne.

In the third quarter of 2021, the number of ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) registrations in the UK rose by 40 per cent year-on-year.

But what prompted this significant shift?

Saga commissioned a survey to uncover public opinion towards electric vehicles, finding that most EV drivers are motivated particularly by environmental and financial reasons.

The top reasons drivers switched to an electric vehicle were:

• They are better for the environment (45 per cent)
• To save on fuel costs (43 per cent)
• Access to fast, easy home charging (28 per cent)
• Everyone will have to change eventually, so I wanted to get ahead (26 per cent)

Financial motivations were prevalent among the oldest and youngest respondents polled – 44 per cent of 16-24 year olds and 75 per cent of over 55s ranked saving on fuel costs as their top reason for driving an EV.

The survey also found that 60 per cent of drivers think that charging an electric vehicle is less expensive than filling up a petrol/diesel car.

In fact, the mean price difference estimated across all respondents was 5.58p per mile less. Among all other age groups, EVs being better for the environment came out as a top motivation to make the switch.

The survey found widespread enthusiasm towards electric cars. More than two-thirds (68 per cent) of people said they’d consider switching to an electric vehicle (EV), including 72 per cent of men and 65 per cent of women.

Of these, a quarter (25 per cent) said they would definitely switch, and 39 per cent expect to switch within 3-5 years’ time.

There was also a clear appetite for switching amongst younger age groups, with 36 per cent of 16–24-year-olds considering a switch in 1-2 years’ time.

Respondents in Greater London were the most likely to consider driving an EV (77 per cent), but the interest is widespread with 26 per cent of drivers saying they’d consider the number of electric charging points in an area as an important factor if they were planning a house move.

But where in the UK is the best place to own an electric car? Saga’s ranking reveals that Greater London is the most electric-friendly city, followed by Newcastle upon Tyne in second place.

Two Scottish cities rank in the top five: Glasgow is the third best city for EVs, and Edinburgh follows behind in fifth place.

For those who are still considering a switch to EV but haven’t yet committed, 55 per cent of non-EV drivers said being able to save on fuel costs was their top reason considering the switch.

This was closely followed by EVs being better for the environment, cited by 54 per cent of respondents.

Despite this, non-EV drivers are facing a variety of barriers that are holding them back from making the switch.

Almost three quarters (72 per cent) were put off by the high upfront cost, citing the high expense of an electric car as the top reason they would not consider switching.

Half of UK drivers say their city is ill-equipped for electric vehicle charging.

The UK is currently adding around 7,600 public charge points annually, but a lack of both public and private charging points were identified as prevalent factors holding people back from switching to EVs.

Martin Broom, motor and home product director at Saga said: “It’s great to see there’s a maintained appetite for electric vehicles, with 68 per cent of UK drivers actively considering the switch. It’s also encouraging that our data finds 63 per cent of over 55s specifically want to switch due to the positive environmental impact of EVs.

“However, even with clear benefits and increasing availability, there are some UK drivers who are hesitant.

“It seems a lack of education could be a major barrier to electric vehicle adoption, with 23 per cent of UK drivers believing charging an EV is more expensive than filling a petrol or diesel car.

“It’s clear there’s a need to build awareness but most importantly to build and improve the UK’s public EV charging infrastructure.”

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