According to new research from the AA, the younger generation are leading the way in embracing electric car technology.
The AA-Populus study shows that younger respondents are more likely to own an electric vehicle (EV) than any other age group. Those aged 24-34 are next most likely to own one, while those aged 55 and above are the least likely to do so.
Edmund King, AA president, says: “This may confound the ‘boy racer’ image that older people may have of young drivers. Although overall numbers are still low, it shows that young drivers are taking an interest in new car technology – despite the fact that three-quarters (76%) are concerned about the high purchase price of EVs. But even that compares with 84% of older drivers concerned about price.”
Tim Payne, CEO of InstaVolt, said: “This news confirms that we are taking the younger generation with us in our quest to make electrification an everyday occurrence. That said we must do all we can to persuade older drivers to embrace this new technology or sadly they might be left behind. I have no doubt that very soon we will reach a tipping point. Effectively it will be a pincer movement where the number of EVs being bought drives the price down as InstaVolt delivers its intensive programme of installing rapid charge points throughout the country.”
More than 16,500 drivers were surveyed by the AA and showed that for those who don’t own an EV, barriers to ownership stubbornly remain the perceived lack of charging stations, the cost of buying an electric car and durability of the battery.
Other concerns include the potential time it might take to offset low running costs against purchase price and ‘limited range’.
“In reality, these concerns are evaporating much more quickly than perhaps most people realise,” says King. “It seems that young drivers certainly ‘get’ the concept of electric driving and our research consistently showed that it is older drivers who are putting up concerns that simply don’t exist. In fact, a third of respondents overall (33%) say they have no understanding of EVs.”
To counter that lack of awareness, the AA Trust has launched ‘Drive Electric’ – free sessions designed to help drivers understand electric vehicles and how to obtain the best economy from them. The first sessions are being run in conjunction with the new Electric Vehicle Experience Centre in Milton Keynes launched by Roads Minister Jessie Norman MP in July – the first centre of its type dedicated to electric and plug-in vehicles.
King points out: “The fact is the average journey length in the UK is just 8.9 miles and for most families, an EV is the ideal economical and practical solution for a second car at least.
“New vehicles are coming on stream with much higher practical range (200 miles will soon be very much the low end) and there are hundreds of new public charging points being installed every month.”
InstaVolt is one of the companies driving up the number of EV charging points in the UK. It is currently installing 3,000 chargers in easily accessible places across the UK, such as petrol forecourts. Unlike many other charging companies, InstaVolt’s chargers can be used on a pay as you go basis, with no subscription and no membership costs.