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Charging and range anxiety still biggest obstacles in switch to EVs, says Venson

While company car drivers are widely switched on to the benefits of switching to EVs, the majority still have ill-founded concerns over a lack of charging and range.A new study by Venson Automotive Solutions among business drivers found 69% still had concerns over the UK’s charging infrastructure.

That’s despite analysis by Nissan that has shown there are now more EV charging stations than fuel stations in the UK, with almost 1,000 more public places to charge cars compared to forecourts (some 9,300 as opposed to 8,400 fuel stations). And, according to the Department for Transport, at present, the UK has a network of more than 24,000 public charging connectors at these charging stations.

The Venson survey also reports preconceptions regarding limited battery range; 57% of those surveyed reported this was still a barrier when considering an EV, putting it in a close second when it comes to barriers to EV take-up. Yet, there are a range of affordable electric cars covering 250 miles or more now on the market.

The survey also indicated some ownership concerns. A total of 41% of people surveyed expressed concern over the practicalities of being able to charge their vehicle at home.  And 30% said they had concerns over service, maintenance and repair costs.

On the plus side, and following the newly announced BiK changes that see the tax liability for zero-emission EVs fall from 2% to 0% for the 2020/21 tax year, the Venson study shows that more than two-thirds of company car drivers are very much aware of the costs and convenience of running an EV.

The research also indicated awareness of dealership support in switching to EVs – only 13% of respondents cited lack of ‘try before you buy’ options as an obstacle to purchase. And only 5% of people surveyed said they were worried about manufacturer lead times in acquiring an EV.

Fleet managers looking to dispel user-chooser EV fears can download Venson Automotive Solutions’ ‘Plug-In Vehicle Guide’ for free. Aimed at drivers and intended to help widen their knowledge of the cost and convenience of EVs, the guide answers the key questions creating barriers to drivers considering a plug-in car.

To download the Venson guide, click here.

Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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