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56 Percent of Drivers Polled Believe Electric Vehicles Remain Overpriced

More than half of motorists believe electric vehicles are still too expensive and only 47 percent can see themselves buying one, according to research conducted by the car sales website, Auto Trader.

The British government has said it will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030—with hybrid cars to follow by 2035—leaving motorists with only one option: electric cars.

But in February this year Conservative MP Steve Brine told a special debate in Westminster Hall “supply and cost are major barriers right now” to people switching over to electric vehicles, and he said he felt the current target—that all new vehicles would emit zero emissions by 2035—may be “beyond us.”

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Auto Trader polled 4,000 motorists across the UK as part of their latest Road to 2030 report and found 56 percent felt electric vehicles (EVs) were too expensive and only 47 percent could see an EV fitting in with their lifestyle.

They found the biggest concerns were the initial expense of buying the car and then the difficulty with charging it.

The report found there were only nine models on sale in the UK for less than £30,000, compared to 11 models in 2022.

New EVs are on average 33 percent more expensive than petrol vehicles.

‘More Work to be Done to Achieve Mass Transition’

Ian Plummer, commercial director at Auto Trader, said: “There is still much more work to be done to achieve a mass transition to electric vehicles before the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel models and ensure no driver is left behind.”

“Support from the tax system to put the used EV market on a more sustainable footing is vital for the sustainability of the entire EV market and our chances of successfully transitioning to EVs by 2030.”

Earlier this year Richard Ingram, motoring journalist and editor of, told The Epoch Times he believed the price of buying electric cars would fall significantly by 2030 as a number of second-hand vehicles come on the market.

Mr. Ingram said: “I’m not convinced the transition to electric is going to do much to change who can or can’t afford a new car. It’s true that there are fewer ‘cheap’ EVs than there are petrol or diesel cars, but even a Ford Focus will set you back more than £27,000 in today’s market. An all-electric MG4, offering similar space, practicality, and convenience features, actually starts from a few hundred pounds less.”

Auto Trader’s report seemed to bear out Mr. Ingram’s forecast.

An electric-powered taxi is seen being charged at a BP Pulse electric vehicle charging point in London, Britain, on July 16, 2021. (Peter Nicholls/Reuters)
An electric-powered taxi is seen being charged at a BP Pulse electric vehicle charging point in London, Britain, on July 16, 2021. (Peter Nicholls/Reuters)

It found a quarter of all second-hand EVs were priced under £20,000 in August—up from 7 percent a year earlier—and the price of EVs between three and five years old had fallen by 40 percent, making a used Nissan Leaf cheaper than its petrol or diesel equivalent for the first time.

Auto Trader’s report also found significant areas of ignorance among motorists about EVs.

Two-fifths of drivers thought they would need to charge their cars every three days, when the average household with an EV only needs to charge it once a week.

Public Charging More Expensive Than at Home

Mr. Plummer said: “Consumers are still worried about affordability and charging, which is why we need a clear statement of intent from the Government. Penalising drivers who have to charge in public with higher VAT is simply unfair. We need to end this charging injustice.”

“Those charging their EVs at home can save £142 per 1,000 miles, compared to a £41 saving for EV drivers using public charging points. There are real benefits to be had but they need to be shared more widely across society,” he said.

Akira Kirton, the vice president of charging infrastructure firm BP Pulse UK, told The Times, “The transition to electric vehicles is evolving at pace which is why BP Pulse is focused on accelerating the development of the UK’s EV infrastructure, delivering the right charging speeds, in the right locations and investing up to £1 billion to do

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