One in four consumers plan to buy an electric car, study says

One in four consumers are planning to buy an electrified car in the next five years – but high prices and range anxiety remain major concerns, according to a study by energy industry regulator Ofgem.

Research conducted by the government-appointed body indicated that 24% of consumers, or 6.5 million households, are hoping to make the switch to more sustainable means of travel, through the purchase of an all-electric or hybrid car.

Around 38% of participants said they were not likely to get an electric vehicle in the next five years, with high prices (59%), a short battery life or range anxiety (38%) and worries about not being able to charge their vehicle near their homes (59%) to blame. The research also showed that 60% would consider smart charging of their vehicle to avoid a time of day when electricity is most expensive. 

Electric vehicle owners were also shown be more open to embracing changes in how they use their energy and are three times more likely to say they are on a time-of-use tariff than non-owners.

“As more consumers make the switch to electric vehicles in the next five years, Ofgem will be announcing millions of pounds of investment to create a more flexible energy system to support the electrification of vehicles, renewable generation and low-carbon forms of heat,” said Jonathan Brearley, Ofgem’s chief executive.

The study also highlighted the wider relationship between fossil fuels and electricity generation. Almost three-quarters of consumers (74%) identified electricity generation and transport, such as fossil-fuel power stations and exhaust emissions, as playing a big part in contributing to climate change. 

Fewer consumers (60%) identified domestic heating as playing a big part in contributing to climate change, although one in seven (14%) said they plan to install low-carbon heating in their homes.