COVID-19 makes motorists reassess their plans to buy an EV

9th April 2020

A report just out shows that the COVID-19 outbreak is having a dramatic effect on people’s awareness of the environment and has made them reassess their views on owning an electric vehicle (EV).

45% of motorists surveyed by Venson Automotive Solutions confirmed that the radical improvement on air pollution across the globe as a result of the demobilisation of transport, has made them reconsider their electric vehicle (EV) ownership plans.  A further 17% said it reaffirmed the decision they had already made to make the switch to an EV.

Of the 45% of motorists who are now reassessing their EV options, 19% said their next company car or private purchase would be an EV, with the remaining 26% confirming they intend to become an EV driver in the next 5 years.  This survey shows that people’s attitudes have shifted towards EV ownership compared to a similar survey in July 2019.

The latest survey from Venson also reveals that, once the UK has recovered from the    COVID-19 crisis, the public would like to see more done by Government and businesses to make the take up of EVs more attractive. This includes further investment in the charging infrastructure (62%), the introduction of more Clean Air Zones in major cities (38%) and new legislation that supports businesses to move to fully electric company car or commercial vehicle fleets in the next 5 years (38%).

The survey comes at a time when the new tax year offers zero benefit in kind tax to company car drivers who drive an EV, effective April 2020.  Benefit in kind is a tax paid by an employee on a company vehicle and is calculated using list price and emissions. The new rules mean that a pure electric company car will have zero benefit in kind, and this rises to just 1% in 2021-22 and 2% in 2022-23. This is expected to accelerate the uptake of EVs amongst company car drivers in the coming year.

Adrian Keen, CEO of InstaVolt, the UK’s largest owner operated network of rapid electric vehicle chargers in the UK, said: “This survey makes interesting reading and demonstrates that climate awareness and the need to reduce pollution is one of the main factors driving the move to EVs. It’s also good to see the arrival of the new tax benefits which can only have a positive effect on motorists’ buying decisions. ”

For two years running, InstaVolt has been voted the UK’s favourite public charging network, capable of charging multiple brands of vehicle, in the annual Zap-map driver survey.

It believes that charging an electric vehicle should be quick and easy which is why, unlike many other companies, InstaVolt operates an ‘open charger’ model, so anyone can use its charging points on a pay-as-you-go basis. No monthly subscription and no membership cards are required.