Electric vehicles rejected by readers as ‘unaffordable’

Vallance: It’s impossible for majority to buy electric car

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Nearly 250,00 electric vehicles joined Britain’s roads in the first nine months of the year, but few Express.co.uk readers are willing to make the change to a fully-electric vehicle (EV), according to a recent poll.

The RAC reported that 14 percent of motorists will have an electric car as their next vehicle, while a further 29 percent intend to switch to a hybrid. 

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: “It’s great to see an increasing proportion of drivers saying they will go electric next time they change their vehicles, with more than twice as many saying their next vehicles will be zero-emission than before the pandemic.”

Electric vehicles rely solely on battery power and must be charged externally, while hybrids use a battery in combination with a petrol or diesel engine and can be a plug-in (PHEV) model.

Editorial Director at The Car Expert Stuart Masson said that hybrids have declined in popularity, explaining that “British buyers are turning their backs on PHEVs and making the leap to fully electric cars”.

He added: “Previously seen as the best of both worlds, buyers are viewing PHEVs differently now. This isn’t necessarily really bad news for car manufacturers because many of them are making huge profits and buyers are choosing smaller, greener and cheaper models which actually suit their needs.”

In a poll that ran from midday on Sunday, October 22, to 4:30pm on Tuesday, October 25, Express.co.uk asked readers: “Would you switch to an electric car over a hybrid?”

Overall, 3,018 readers responded with the overall response with 47 percent (1,405 people) of votes cast being “neither”.

Of those willing to change, some 44 percent (1,322 people) said “no – I’d prefer a hybrid” and just nine percent (270 people) said “yes – I’d go electric”. In addition, one percent of respondents (22 people) said they did not know.

Dozens of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers shared their thoughts on making the swap to hybrid and electric vehicles.

Many readers were against having an electric or hybrid vehicle, with username Made in Britain writing: “Nope, I will stick to petrol!”

Username Susandenham said: “Neither for me. I’ll stick with my wee petrol car thanks.”

And username astr said: “Wouldn’t switch to any.”

Some readers argued that electric vehicles were not a viable option, as username RangerNZ commented: “We do not have the resources to sustain electric cars.”

Username rhubarb7 said: “Not until the infrastructure is in place for trouble-free travel and parking.”


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Another, username PhilCo58, said: “No, never, in the long term they will do as much if not more damage to the environment, what do you think happens to the end of life batteries? It might be eco-friendly now, but it won’t be for future generations.

Meanwhile, others commented on the price of making the change, with username mikenobike writing: “Would love one. Simply not affordable.”

And username Rosepetal said: “Well if you paid me the money for either I’d accept a new car. So many petrol and diesel cars on the road as people can’t afford the price of these electric or hybrid cars.”

Experts reportedly suggest that while EVs are more expensive the price disparity will be closed by the end of the decade.

Other readers were positive towards the ownership of greener vehicles, with username ​​SL069 commenting: “Went electric two years ago, no regrets. Did it in steps though. Went from petrol to hybrid, then plug-in hybrid, then full electric. Won’t go back unless finances force me to.”

Likewise, username QUEENANDCOUNTRY said: “For short distances, an electric car would be OK. For longer journeys, I’ll be keeping my hybrid.”

The UK Government plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030 and introduce a similar ban on plug-in hybrids from 2035. The move hopes to help reach net-zero emission targets.

In addition, in 2040 petrol, diesel and hybrid HGVs over 26 tonnes could be banned, subject to Government consultation.

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