Survey: Half of young people want electric cars

By Roger Harrabin
BBC environment analyst

Image source, EPA

Half of young people in the UK would like to own an electric car – compared with just a quarter of their parents, a survey suggests.

The research comes from motoring group the AA, which says myths about electric vehicles are putting off many drivers.

This matters because cleaning up air pollution and tackling climate change both depend on mass acceptance of electric vehicles (EVs).

Young people seem to be more accepting of the technology than older people.

It comes as the government has announced a target for 50% of all new vehicle sales to be in the ultra-low emissions category by 2030.

The opinions were revealed in an AA/Populus poll of 10,293 drivers.

What the public thinks

  • 85% of people overall in the survey said that there aren’t enough public charging points for EVs.
  • 76% said EVs can’t go far enough on a single charge.
  • 76% think EVs are too expensive.
  • 67% think EVs take too long to charge.
  • 67% think there isn’t enough choice of models

What the AA thinks

There are 16,000 charging points at 5,800 locations and 340 points added monthly. Most drivers will charge their car at home.

Range is improving all the time. Several models have a 250-mile-plus range. Some 95% of car journeys are under 25 miles.

Costs are coming down. Grants up to £4,500 are available and EVs are much cheaper to run - at 2p per mile.

Rapid chargers which could charge an EV to around 80% range in around 30 minutes are on the way – ideal for "filling stations".

There are 38 cars eligible for plug-in grants from a Renault Zoe to Jaguar I-PACE and more on the horizon, such as the Tesla Model 3.

The AA’s president Edmund King said: “The range, charging speed and charging point infrastructure are all on the increase. There needs to be a more concerted effort by us all to sell the benefits of electric vehicles.

“Drivers will also need to change their fuelling habits with the majority charging their EVs at night (at home) and then at their destinations.

“Ultimately outstanding, affordable, stylish EVs with a decent range will sell themselves. Massive savings can already be made on running and service costs, as well as the tax benefits.”

“The younger generation in particular are ready to embrace the electric revolution.”

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