Electric vehicles to become norm in UK by 2030

01 October 2019 Consultancy.uk 3 min. read
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Electric vehicles are set to become so normalised in the coming decade that most consumers will drop the word ‘electric’ from conversations involving them. According to a new study, half of UK consumers think they will become more used to the transport option as it becomes more common on British roads.

Go Ultra Low is a Government and industry funded marketing campaign to encourage acceptance and uptake of electric vehicles. According to new research from the campaign, electric vehicles are well on the way to normalisation in the UK, with a survey conducted this year showing that 'electric cars' will simply be called 'cars' by the end of the next decade.

A study of 2,000 UK adults found that 69% of people expect to merely refer to ‘cars’ when speaking about electric vehicles in 10 years’ time. Drivers also suggested that the increasing familiarity of the technology will help normalise the vehicles. Thirty-three percent said they thought seeing family and friends drive electric vehicles would help accelerate this process, while 49% said simply seeing more electric cars on the road would be among the biggest factors in changing consumer perceptions.

Electric vehicles to become a norm in UK by 2030

Some old problems still remain though. When asked what would increase the likelihood of them buying an electric vehicle, 45% of consumers polled said an improvement in charging infrastructure would be essential. The Highways Agency has already had to commit to a £15 million infrastructure programme designed to ensure that drivers are never more than 20 miles from a charging point on the UK’s A roads, but as the Government’s plan to ban internal combustion engines is not set to be enforced for two decades, that is unlikely to be completed any time soon.

At the same time, a quarter of consumers said they wanted to see a wider range of choice in models. The study found the average person in Britain believes there are only 15 models on the market, something which Go Ultra Low said was wrong as there are actually 24 fully electric or hydrogen-powered cars on sale, plus a further 27 plug-in hybrid cars.

With that number set to double over the next 12 months, this represents a key flaw in the communications policies of automotive manufacturers, and suggests many will need to evaluate the effectiveness of their advertising strategies in future. However, according to Poppy Welch, leader of Go Ultra Low, the research ultimately shows consumers expect electric vehicles to become part of normal life over the coming years.

“When we look at the EV market, it is clear we’re on the way towards electric mobility becoming part of everyday life for UK motorists,” she said. “Electric cars are great to drive, can be very cheap to run and help improve local air quality. With prices moving closer to that of their petrol or diesel counterparts, an expanding chargepoint network and an increasing number of models available, there has never been a better time to consider an EV as your next car.”