Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

Government must do more to support electric vehicle technologies

Electric vehicles are not living up to consumer expectations, as many are found to be more expensive and less efficient than many anticipated.

In a report by Deloitte, entitled, ‘Electric Vehicles versus consumer expectations’, 13,000 consumers across the globe were asked about their thoughts on electric vehicles.

85% were found to consider convenience and cost to charge to be extremely important or very important, when considering whether to lease or buy an electric vehicle. Most surveyors expected electric vehicles to recharge in two hour or less – when an electric car could take up to 8 hours to recharge.

Simon Manning. Manufacturing partner at Deloitte in the North East believes that consumer expectations are inconsistent with technology capabilities.

He commented: “Currently, several different charging times are used across Europe, but it would appear that there is still a long way to go before consumers are truly satisfied with the time it takes to charge a car.

“We hope that agreement can also be reached on a common charging plug for all cars regardless of model or location to further simplify the process.

Price was also an issue many of the survey participants agreed on, with a majority indicating they would be unprepared to pay a premium for electric vehicles over a vehicle with a conventional engine. Even those more willing to pay a premium were unwilling to pay much more than for a traditional car.

Mr Manning continued: “The current retail price for an electric vehicle is largely due to the battery, which can represent up to 50% of the cost of the vehicle.

“A significant portion of the cost of the battery would likely need to be subsidised by industry or government if electric vehicles are to be cost competitive with traditional vehicles.”

He is now calling on government to implement a policy to support the large scale uptake of electric cars in the UK.

He concluded: “I have little doubt that EVs will play an important future role both in the UK and globally.

“As take up increases, so will the strain on our electricity infrastructure, and I would therefore urge the government to start planning today for additional electricity generating capacity.

“Without this, the UK will find over the next decade that our take up of EV’s is hampered by our inability to power them.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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