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One in four plan to buy an electric car in next five years

Emma Lunn
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Emma Lunn

More than 6.5 million households plan to buy electric vehicles as the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars approaches in 2030, according to Ofgem.

Ofgem’s research showed that people who own electric vehicles are more open to embracing changes in how they use their energy. It found that electric vehicle owners are three times more likely to say they are on a time of use energy tariff than non-owners, with six in 10 (60%) drivers saying they would consider smart charging of their vehicle to avoid times when electricity is most expensive.

Although many consumers intend on changing their car to an electric one, more than a third (38%) said they were unlikely to get an electric vehicle in the next five years. This is due to perceived barriers like the price being too high (59%), a short battery life and/or short range (38%), and worries about having nowhere to charge their electric vehicle close to home (36%).

Jonathan Brearley, Ofgem’s chief executive, said: “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.”

Ryan Fulthorpe, motoring expert at GoCompare, said: “Traditionally, insurance premiums for electric cars have been higher than conventional models due to the higher initial purchase price, the potentially higher repair costs in the event of an accident and insurers’ relatively limited experience of the risk. However, we are now seeing a slightly different picture emerging with some insurers pricing more competitively. What that means for drivers is that the range of prices on offer from insurers can vary far more, making it absolutely vital they shop around.

“In the same way that you might well need a different energy provider if you are suddenly charging an EV at home, you shouldn’t just assume that your current insurer will be competitive for an electric vehicle. It is a different market, and you need to shop around to see the range in prices and get the best deal for you.”

Research by Which? found that motorists cannot easily use charging networks operated by different providers as they use different apps and payment methods, and drivers can face unnecessarily expensive charges. It’s calling for more joined up thinking about electric car charging.

Michael Briggs, head of sustainability at Which?, said: “Millions of people are expected to switch to electric cars, however the UK’s fractured public charging infrastructure can be confusing, expensive and could present a major barrier to ownership, particularly for those who do not have access to a private charger.

“To ensure electric vehicles are an option for all consumers, the public charging infrastructure must be overhauled to offer universal access to all networks, making it much simpler and inviting than it is today.”