No switch for electric car owners

Less than 1% of drivers want a return to petrol or diesel

Drivers have taken to electric vehicles with a passion, with virtually none looking to switch back to internal combustion engines.

A new poll of Zap-Map’s community of electric vehicle (EV) drivers has revealed  more than 90 per cent of drivers will not be replacing their current EV with a petrol and diesel vehicle.

A spokesman for the RAC said the figures show the momentum that is behind getting drivers into electric vehicles, something that is likely to build as we move closer to the end of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030.

The results are strong evidence of the fundamental shift in consumer attitudes in favour of environmentally friendly cars. In the poll, which was carried out in November 2020 with over 2,000 respondents, 91 per cent said “no thanks” to replacing their EVs with a petrol or diesel vehicle; and in stark contrast less than one per cent were hankering for a return to fossil fuels. nine per cent said they were not sure.

The majority of respondents were first-time EV drivers, with 73 per cent stating their current vehicle was their first EV, and 52 per cent making the purchase within the last year. Driver satisfaction was notably higher for both battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, with EV drivers reporting a satisfaction score of 91 out of 100 (BEV 92, PHEV 84), compared with only 72 for petrol or diesel vehicle ownership.

The data overwhelmingly shows the positive impact of the EV experience on drivers who may have become accustomed to loud, inefficient, and dirty fossil fuel vehicles.

EV models which received the highest satisfaction scores included: the Volkswagen ID.3, Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid, and BMW 3 Series saloon (all 100); Tesla Model 3 (96); Kia e-Niro (96); and the Hyundai KONA electric (94). Nearly all the models, including popular ones such as the Renault Zoe (92) and Nissan Leaf (90), also achieved high levels of driver commitment.

The survey results come at a time of record-breaking sales for the electric vehicle industry. Latest industry figures show that for the year-to-date 9.7 per cent of all new car sales had a plug, compared to 3.2 per cent in 2019, and 1.1 per cent in 2015.

Melanie Shufflebotham, Co-Founder of Zap-Map, commented: “Our latest poll shows the strong and enduring impact of switching to a clean car. The evidence in favour of electric vehicles grows more compelling with each one of our surveys, even in a year as disruptive as 2020. 

“The challenge for the automotive industry is to take advantage of the opportunities that EVs present, not only in terms of the rapidly expanding range, but also ensuring that sales staff are knowledgeable enough to present the benefits to their customers. 

RAC spokesperson Rod Dennis said: “While the challenge is often convincing owners of petrol and diesel vehicles to switch to an electric vehicle in the first place, this data shows that once people have done so they seldom look back – which is also positive news for manufacturers that are investing heavily in electric vehicles and cleaner technology. 

“While would-be electric car drivers might worry about range anxiety, they should also be aware that the number public charge points is increasing rapidly and infrastructure continues to improve. They should also remember that the vast majority of their journeys are unlikely to be over several hundred miles meaning that for day-to-day travel, operating an electric vehicle is a clean and cost-effective option.

“These figures show the momentum that is behind getting drivers into electric vehicles, something that is likely to build as we move closer to the end of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030. We are doing our bit in giving drivers confidence they can make the switch, with 80 of our patrol vans now fitted with mobile emergency charging units, and half our fleet fitted with All-Wheels-Up recovery systems, removing the need for drivers to wait for a flatbed if they need a tow.”

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