The December poll, carried out by vehicle valuation company Glass’s, sought to discover motorists’ views of the government’s £43m Electric Vehicle Plug-in Car Grant.
According to a statement, it first asked respondents whether or not they would consider buying an electric or hybrid vehicle prior to notifying them about the government incentive, to which 36 per cent said they would.
This figure rose to 53 per cent as a direct result of being told about the scheme. When asked if they would consider buying an electric or hybrid vehicle as their next car in July last year, 0.5 per cent of respondents said they would buy an electric vehicle and eight per cent said they would buy a hybrid.
‘This is a phenomenal increase in a very short space of time and represents a fast-growing acceptance of the emergence of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles into the mass market,’ said Andy Carroll, managing director at Glass’s. ‘It is also clear that the government’s Plug-in Car Grant is making an impact on figures and could be the deciding factor for people already considering buying a plug-in hybrid or battery electric car, as well as appealing to those who would not previously have considered it.’
In addition, the survey revealed that of those still unwilling to consider buying an electric or hybrid vehicle despite the Plug-in Car Grant, almost half said that this was not due to cost.
‘This is also a significant finding as it indicates that people need to be reminded of the benefits of running a plug-in or battery electric car and also the reassurance that there will be a better recharging network if they are considering purchasing an electric vehicle,’ said Carroll. ‘Encouragingly, the government has just announced plans to relax planning permission laws for charging points, and has also urged councils to promote their installation, which is another step in the right direction for consumers.’
The government’s £43m incentive programme, which offers buyers of electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles up to £5,000 off the purchase price, was rolled out on 1 January 2011 and so far nine models are eligible for the grant.
As electric cars hit the UK’s roads in greater numbers, the development of infrastructure is a key consideration. Click here to read more.