One in four British households intends to buy an electric car in the next five years as research shows that new gasoline and diesel vehicles will be banned from selling in 2030.
More than 6.5 million households are planning to buy an electric vehicle or a plug-in hybrid, as studies by the energy watchdog Ofgem have shown. This corresponds to 24% or almost one in four of all energy households.
The Climate Committee, an independent public body advising the UK government and decentralized governments, predicts that around 18 million battery and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will be on the road by 2030 if a ban on the sale of new combustion vehicles is introduced.
There are more than half a million low-emission vehicles on the UK’s roads, the Department of Transport recently announced. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, almost one in seven (13.6%) of new cars sold in the past four months were purely battery-electric or plug-in hybrids. Electric and hybrid cars made up more than one in ten sales last year, up from one in 30 last year.
The Ofgem study also shows that more than a third (38%) of households said they are unlikely to buy an electric vehicle in the next five years. 59% said the price was too high, 38% expressed short-selling concerns about battery life and short range, and 36% feared their electric vehicle would not be able to charge near their home.
Separate research by BloombergNEF found that the cost of making electric cars and vans is likely to fall by 2027 and cheaper to buy than gasoline cars by 2030.
Jonathan Brearley, Managing Director of Ofgem said: “As more consumers move to electric vehicles over the next five years, Ofgem will announce millions of pounds of investment to create a more flexible energy system to support vehicle electrification and renewable energy generation, and low carbon forms of warmth.
“Securing the investment is only half the answer. Climate change can only be addressed if consumers are involved in the process. To do this, the transition to a low-carbon economy must be fair, inclusive and affordable. “
Consumer groups welcomed the news. Further details of the investment will be revealed on Monday when Ofgem hosts a virtual conference to launch its “Green, Fair Future” campaign to work with international regulators ahead of the Cop26 climate talks in Glasgow in November.
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Justina Miltienyte, a policy expert on price comparison site Uswitch.com, said, “Ofgem’s promise to invest millions of pounds in electrifying vehicles, including installing more charging points, is both timely and welcome.”
Michael Briggs, director of sustainability at consumer group Which? Said, “Millions of people are expected to switch to electric cars. However, the broken public charging infrastructure in the UK can be confusing and expensive, and especially a major barrier to ownership for those who do not have access to a private charger. “