New research for MotoNovo Finance highlights significant challenges for battery electric vehicle (BEV) adoption, particularly around cost and range perceptions. The study – by Quadrangle was based on a survey of 3845 adults – underscores the need for better communication and education to address consumer concerns and misconceptions.

While nearly half of consumers are open to buying hybrid cars, BEVs face a tougher sell. Price remains a substantial barrier, especially for lower-income households, with 42% of respondents citing it as a major deterrent. Even if BEVs were priced the same as internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, only 13% of people would opt for an electric car for their next purchase.

Charging infrastructure and range anxiety are the dominant factors deterring potential BEV buyers. Concerns about the availability of public charging stations, the ability to install home chargers, electricity costs, and the inconvenience of home charging are significant obstacles. Many consumers find the prospect of hybrid vehicles more appealing due to these factors.

Debbie McKay

MotoNovo’s Commercial Director, Debbie McKay, emphasises the need for a greater focus on improving customer understanding of BEV capabilities. She points out that the average UK commuting distance is under 20 miles, with 99% of car journeys being less than 100 miles. The average BEV range in the UK is 211 miles, which comfortably covers typical daily travel needs.

Despite these facts, nearly a quarter of survey respondents believe BEV range isn’t sufficient, and one in five do not want to think about charging their vehicle. McKay stresses the importance of addressing these perceptions, noting that BEVs can meet the needs of the vast majority of drivers. She also highlights the cost benefits for those with home chargers, as BEV travel costs are lower compared to ICE vehicles and eliminate the need for petrol stations.

McKay calls for industry stakeholders to proactively communicate the benefits of BEVs, providing real-world range information to ensure transparency. This includes educating consumers about the impact of factors such as winter weather and air conditioning on BEV range.

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“All industry stakeholders need to communicate this message far more proactively. At the same time, for authenticity and transparency, it would be better to share real-world range information so that people understand the impact of winter weather/daylight and the use of air conditioning on the range,” McKay concludes.

MotoNovo Finance stock funding service posts 43% growth in 2023