Older drivers are not convinced by the Government’s plans to drive a mass switch to electric cars, according to new survey data which suggests more than half have no plans to ever buy an electric vehicle.
Polling of 3,619 UK adults by consumer group Which? suggests just 23 per cent of people aged 65 and above intend to buy an electric vehicle in the future, compared to 56 per cent of those aged 18-24.
Only 26 per cent of older drivers said they feel comfortable switching to electric vehicles – well behind the 71 per cent of 18-24 year-olds who said they feel comfortable with the idea of making the shift to electric.
The survey also revealed a stark divide between urban and rural drivers, with rural drivers far more cautious about changing to electric vehicles.
Those on lower incomes were also less inclined to make their next car electric. Just a third of households on incomes of under £21,000 said their next vehicle would be battery-powered, compared to more than half of people with a household income of more than £48,000.
The Government plans to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, with hybrids following suit in 2035. But although electric vehicle sales are growing fast, they still make up only around 8.5 per cent of cars on the road.
Sue Davies, head of consumer rights and food policy at Which?, said the survey results show some demographics will need more support to move away from petrol and diesel cars.
“The mass adoption of electric vehicles is a key element of the Government’s net-zero strategy, but while some consumers are ready to switch, our research shows older consumers and those from lower-income or rural households are less inclined to embrace the electric car revolution,” she said.
Electric vehicles are still more expensive to buy new than petrol or diesel cars, but analysts expect the technology to reach price parity with fossil fuel cars by the middle of the decade. Anxiety over charging is another major barrier, said Ms Davies.
“It is vital that action is taken to address significant barriers including concerns about battery range, cost and the UK’s charging infrastructure that could deter motorists from switching to electric vehicles,” she said.