Government Deadline Pushback Leads a Quarter of Drivers to Delay a Switch to Electric Driving

Venson survey also reveals 3 out of 4 motorists believe “something needed to be done”, but criticise government for wasting automotive industry’s “time, money and effort”

A new survey from Venson Automotive Solutions confirms that the government’s decision to delay the end of new petrol and diesel vehicle sales has been a controversial one, prompting 1 in 4 drivers to put the brakes on purchasing an electric vehicle (EV). A staggering 93% believe the government should have been focusing on the cost-of-living crisis instead of EV policies. 56% see the delay as a waste of time, money and effort for the automotive industry that has been working to meet the 2030 deadline, while 47% believe it is a positive move that will keep Chinese manufacturers from overtaking the UK market. The cynical 64% see the move as just a bid to gain votes ahead of the next general election.

Whilst 26% of drivers are still planning to go ahead with an EV purchase soon, despite the later deadline, drivers overall agree that delaying the deadline for sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles was necessary, because 2030 was not a realistic deadline for the majority (77%).

Nearly half of drivers (46%) remain determined not to purchase an EV, with the cost of purchase (35%) and lack of confidence in charging infrastructure (16%) being cited as major barriers to making the switch. 12% of those not looking to switch yet are holding out for a stronger used EV market.

Respondents would like to see financial incentives to help the public move to an EV, including financial assistance to help with purchasing (26%) or paying for energy bills (20%) and free installation of home charging points (36%). 13% would like to see the removal of annual vehicle tax for EVs reintroduced.

“The UK automotive industry has invested hugely in meeting the 2030 deadline, and drivers have been getting on board too,” commented Alison Bell, Operations Director for Venson. “This significant change in policy is a disappointing setback for the industry and for the UK. However, it is encouraging to see that just as many drivers are still planning to switch soon, as are planning to delay, meaning green ambitions are not dead and manufacturers still have a market to serve.

“Businesses and individuals want to make a difference to their carbon footprint whether it is out of necessity and government mandate, or personal choice, and switching to a zero or low emissions vehicle is one of the best ways to reduce emissions for a family or a fleet. Clearly more work still needs to be done to encourage and educate drivers about the switch to electric vehicles. Topics of battery life, charging and the cost of new and second-hand vehicles are still key barriers to adoption.”

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