EV drivers converted for life

About 95% of drivers of electric vehicles would never go back to a combustion engine, according to a new survey.

Robert Llewellyn’s Fully Charged – a clean energy and electric vehicle channel on YouTube – has received more than 7,700 responses to its first audience survey. The 50-question study illuminated consumer attitudes to the array of technologies that are set to dominate the next decade.

Fully Charged’s host, Robert Llewellyn (Channel 4’s Scrapheap Challenge, BBC’s Red Dwarf), said, ‘I have been banging on about electric cars, solar panels and batteries for the best part of 10 years, so it’s incredibly gratifying to see the excitement that our viewers have for all things cleantech. Having experienced how impressive electric cars are, we were not surprised to see so many other drivers saying that they won’t go back to the combustion engine, but it might shock those that have yet to switch. Perhaps, more surprising was that two-thirds of our audience who are yet to buy an EV intend to do so in the next two years.’

According to the survey 56.89% of the Fully Charged audience that do not yet own an EV intend to acquire one by the end of 2020, with three quarters planning to purchase a pure battery EV as opposed to a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). This, combined with the fact, that ‘the shift to EVs, means that 87.67% of respondents could ‘choose a different brand to those that they have historically preferred’, might cause concern amongst those car companies that are yet to offer a credible line-up of all-electric models.

Furthermore, the principle issue that has held consumers back from buying an EV to date is neither the lack of attractive, available options, nor the lack of charging infrastructure, rather it’s the perceived cost of new (33%) and used (14.9%) EVs. This is in spite of the fact that, as a result of their much lower running costs, EVs are increasingly competitive over the total cost of ownership (TCO).

While the fully charged audience typically has a high proportion of ‘early-adopters’ with an almost equal interest in EVs (88.67%) and clean energy/renewables (88.61%), the survey shows that they are more interested in new technology itself, than the problems those technologies might mitigate against, such as air pollution (39.83%) and climate change (44.39%). Attitudes to home energy reveal that of those considering a new energy supplier, 68.91% intend to switch to a ‘green energy’ supplier and 83.74% are interested in ‘new energy technologies’ not least solar PV, batteries, smart controls, heat pumps and vehicle-to-grid.

Robert said, ‘We’ve always maintained that simply because they are better technologies, EVs and renewables will become mainstream. And this is borne out by our survey.’