Young drivers most likely to consider an EV as their next vehicle - but they still don’t think they can afford one
29th September 2022, London - A new study into EV adoption in the UK, published today in association with World EV Day by a consortium of the UK’s leading automotive experts, has revealed that despite the current adoption being higher among older drivers, young drivers aged 25-34 are the most likely to consider an EV as their next vehicle.
The study of over 1,900 UK drivers*, conducted by IPSOS on behalf of LeasePlan UK, LV Insurance, Shell Recharge, Ohme, Cenex, Auto Trader, Connected Kerb, Fastned and EV Association England, found that, among those who intend to buy, lease, subscribe to, or replace a car or van in the future, over three quarters (77%) of those aged 25-34 years old said they would definitely or probably consider going electric for their next vehicle, compared to 49% for those aged 55 to 75.
Despite the high demand, the findings also show younger drivers to be more likely than older drivers to perceive some costs of driving an EV to be higher than petrol and diesel vehicles.
More than a third of drivers aged 25-34 (37%) think the overall running costs of EVs are more expensive than a petrol or diesel vehicle, compared to one in five (22%) for those aged 55-75. Similarly, 37% of 25-34-year-olds think servicing and general maintenance is relatively more expensive for EVs, compared to only 27% of 55-75-year-olds.
The perceived cost of charging also proved to be a sticking point for younger drivers. A third of 25-34-year-olds (32%) said they think the cost of charging an EV is more expensive than the cost of refuelling an equivalent petrol or diesel model, despite fuel costs reaching an all-time high earlier this year. This compares to just 14% of 55-75-year-olds.
Around two-fifths (39%) of 25-34-year-olds think that any monthly loan repayments, lease costs or subscription fees for an EV are more expensive than a petrol or diesel model, compared to a quarter (26%) of 55-75 year-olds.
Ade Thomas, Founder of Green.TV Media, organisers of World EV Day, said: “We’ve brought together some of the biggest players in the UK automotive industry to conduct this crucial piece of research into the next phase of EV adoption.
“Our collective goal is to better our understanding about how we, as an industry, and a nation, can best mobilise the next generation of EV drivers. By getting into the head of the consumer with a substantive piece of research from Ipsos, and identifying key friction points, we can truly see what changes need to be made to help them to make the switch.”
Neill Emmett, Head of Marketing at LeasePlan UK, added:
“The findings from our partner study are particularly striking as they emphasise just how far we still have to go as an industry when it comes to supporting younger drivers to go electric. As we’ve seen, motivation amongst younger drivers around EVs is extremely high – they want to make the switch but simply don’t think they can afford it. This has been exacerbated by the ongoing cost of living crisis, as day-to-day expenses become an increasingly important issue.
“In general, most EV models work out cheaper than diesel or petrol cars due to the lower whole-life costs. However, the upfront costs remain prohibitive, with many manufacturers pricing young people out of the market. We urgently need greater access to more financially attainable vehicles. At the same time, we need to continue to educate people about the cheaper running costs of an EV – even in the current economic environment – to tackle many of the common misconceptions we’re seeing, particularly among younger drivers.”
The full findings of the report, along with the group’s recommendations on what changes need to be made to mobilize the next cohort of EV drivers, can be found here: https://www.worldevday.org/research
Note to editors
*About the Ipsos survey
Ipsos interviewed a sample of 2,197 adults aged 17-75 in UK using its online i:omnibus over 17-18th August 2022. 1,928 of those sampled hold a current UK-valid driving licence and are termed “drivers” in this media release. Data has been weighted to the known offline population (covering drivers and non-drivers) for age and working status within gender as well as Government Office Region and social grade.
More about the partners
Auto Trader is the UK's largest automotive marketplace. We are focused on changing how the UK shops for cars by providing the best online car buying experience and enabling all retailers to sell online. We aim to build stronger partnerships with our customers, use our voice and influence to drive more environmentally friendly vehicle choices and to create a diverse and inclusive culture.
Climate change and our response to it are very important to our business and that’s why we’re so excited to be a World EV Day partner. As the UK’s largest online marketplace, we have a role to play in helping both the industry and consumers to make the transition to electric vehicles (EVs). We believe EV’s need to be easier to afford, charge and buy and there’s a collective responsibility to make this happen. We’ve also partnered with the Carbon Literacy Trust to offer free training to the automotive industry in a bid to help others make more environmentally friendly choices for their own businesses.
At LeasePlan, we have the knowledge and experience that you need to help you transition to electric vehicles (EVs). We have been supporting individuals and business fleets for over 50 years and offering EVs for more than a decade. We manage 1.9 million cars and vans across 29 countries, and as an EV100 Founder Member, we are committed to moving our entire fleet to net zero-emissions by 2030. You can see all our latest EV offers at leaseplan.com, where our experts have created tools and guides to help you decide if an electric car or van is right for you.
Ohme was founded in 2017 and is the UK’s leading smart charging platform provider.
At the forefront of EV charging, Ohme offers a smart charging system solution for consumers, business and fleets that enables consumers to charge at off-peak times and reduce their charging costs and environmental impact. Ohme has been named by outside investors as a ‘gigacorn’ – a company that has the potential to get rid of one gigatonne of CO2 from the atmosphere per year.
Ohme is the official charger provider for Motability Operations and has won numerous awards for Best Electric Charging Point Provider by Business Motoring and Innovation in Electric Vehicles by Fleet World magazine. Ohme was also voted number one for customer service in Auto Express magazine’s 2022 Driver Power survey.
Cenex, established as the UK’s first Centre of Excellence for Low Carbon and Fuel Cell technologies in 2005, lowers emission in transport & associated energy infrastructure and operates as an independent, not-for-profit research technology organisation (RTO) and consultancy.
Our independent experts find the right solutions that reduce pollution, increase efficiency and lower costs, and offer informed commentary on the latest policies, technologies and innovations.
Shell Recharge offers award-winning smart home chargers, a fast charging network and a free charge card and app. Customers can charge at more than 395 providers.
About Liverpool Victoria General Insurance and ElectriX · ElectriX, powered by LV= General Insurance, is a one-stop shop offering drivers everything they need to get on the road with an electric car – from leasing a vehicle, through to buying a home charger and getting electric car insurance.
Fastned has been developing rapid charging infrastructure for electric vehicles across Europe since 2012, with a mission to accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility by giving freedom to electric drivers. Based in Amsterdam, Fastned currently has 200+ charging stations in the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium, France and Switzerland. The company specialises in developing and operating rapid charging infrastructure where drivers can charge their EV with up to 30 miles of range in 20 minutes, before continuing their journey. Fastned is listed on Euronext Amsterdam.
The Electric Vehicle Association (EVA) England is the voice of EV drivers in England. We advocate for the uptake of EVs, and speak to government, media and industry to promote positive policies and action that will speed up the transition away from the internal combustion engine (ICE), and to make the consumer experience of driving an EV the best it can be.
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