Why electric car knowledge needs a boost

New survey echoes What Car? findings that cost is the main barrier to going electric and that consumers are concerned about having enough places to charge up...

Bosch EV research

The cost of electric cars is the main thing stopping people from buying them in greater numbers, the results of a new survey suggest, with 71% of those questioned saying they're too expensive.

The survey, which was conducted by automotive parts maker Bosch, also found that 70% of people have concerns about charging and battery life, while 40% said a lack of charging infrastructure was stopping them from buying an electric vehicle (EV).

The findings mirror those of What Car?'s own electric car White Paper, released last year, where cost was seen as the biggest issue, although concerns were found to decline when people did more research.

According to the Bosch survey, 70% of people think there should be an EV charger on every fuel station forecourt, while 60% said every public car parking space should have a charger, and 55% think every newly built home should include a charge point. 

Bosch EV research

Despite these issues, the report revealed that 66% of motorists intend to switch to a pure electric or hybrid car in the next 10 years. But there is a generation gap, with 18 to 24-year-olds 20 times more likely to want to buy an EV than those over 55 (13.7% versus 0.7%).

Younger drivers are also three times as likely to buy their first EV this year: 14.5% intend to compared with 4.6% of over 55s. In fact, older drivers are four times as likely to say they will never buy an EV than younger drivers: 29% versus 8%.

It also appears that people lack knowledge on the environmental impact of EVs: 70% of those asked didn’t understand that EVs aren’t automatically carbon neutral, but the electricity needed to charge them and the production and disposal of EV batteries can all harm the environment. 

This could hamper the UK’s ambition to become carbon neutral by 2050, an aim that ties in with the Government’s recent announcement that the sale of new diesel, petrol and hybrid cars will be banned from 2035

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

The best electric cars

Despite the concerns some people clearly have, electric cars now make plenty of sense, particularly if you choose from the very best examples. Here we count down our current top 10.

10. Tesla Model X

Save money on a new Tesla Model X with What Car? >>

Tesla Model X

On paper, Tesla's all-electric family SUV seems to be the dream all-rounder, combining the luxury of a Range Rover Sport with the green credentials of an electric car. In practice, its low running costs and practical interior are hard to fault, and even entry-level versions aren't short on pace, but parts of its interior do feel a little cheap given the price.

Seat Mii Electric 2019 LHD front cornering shot

If you're looking for a small electric car to primarily use in the city, the Mii Electric should definitely be on your shortlist. It might not have the range to match larger electric cars, but that means costs are kept sensible, and we reckon 161 miles on a full charge should still be enough for most buyers. 

Read our full Seat Mii Electric review >>

8. Mercedes EQC

Save money on a new Mercedes EQC with What Car? >>

Mercedes-Benz EQC front three quarters

The EQC is a brilliant choice if you want to maximise the peace and quiet offered by going electric: it really is incredibly hushed on the move. But while it's generally comfortable on motorways, it doesn't ride as well as the very best rivals and its range is someway off the Jaguar I-Pace's.

Read our full Mercedes EQC review >>

Next: more of our favourite electric cars >>

Page 1 of 4