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Drivers plan to ‘go electric’ with next car, reveals new survey

Drivers plan to ‘go electric’ with next car, reveals new survey

One in 10 UK drivers (10%) plan to buy a hybrid model for their next vehicle, according to a new report on cars and technology from Aviva, while a further 2% intend to purchase a fully electric vehicle as their next model.  

The figures are taken from Aviva’s new ‘Connected Car’ report, which compiled the opinions of 2,134 UK drivers on in-car technology and innovations in motoring.

However, the report found that the majority of UK drivers still expected to be using fossil fuel powered vehicles for the foreseeable future: 68% plan to buy a petrol-fuelled vehicle for their next purchase, while 21% expect to buy a diesel-powered model.  

And while there is an apparent appetite for vehicles powered by alternative means, industry figures suggest that the desire for hybrid and electric models may be an aspiration rather than an immediate reality for some.

In 2016 hybrid and electric models accounted for 3.3% of new vehicles registered in the UK. However, latest figures indicate it is an area of growth, with an increase of 39% year-on-year between June 2016 and June 2017 for new petrol-electric hybrid vehicles registered in the UK, and a year-on-year increase of 46% for pure electric plug-in vehicle registrations over the same period.  

Amongst those who say they wouldn’t consider an electric/hybrid vehicle for their next purchase, the main concern was around the cost of the vehicle, a consideration of 55% of drivers in this bracket. That was followed by worries about limited range (44%) and the length of time taken to charge vehicles (39%).  

However, as a general rule, drivers welcomed technology to improve the driving experience, with three quarters (74%) of motorists using in-car technology or gadgets when they drive.  

In line with that, one in five UK drivers questioned said they would be happy to use a driverless car, although the majority of motorists were still cautious about the concept.  

Around a third (31%) said they ‘don’t know’ whether they would use one currently and almost half of motorists (49%) said they wouldn’t use a driverless car at this point in time.  

Paul Heybourne, head of digital innovation operations, Aviva, said: “We’re a nation of car lovers and there’s a clear enthusiasm for technologies which improve the driving experience. There’s also evidence that people want to embrace new innovations, with one in eight drivers saying they’d choose a hybrid or electric model for their next vehicle and one in five ready to adopt driverless technology.  

“As with any new technology, there is some nervousness about driverless cars, but many drivers admit this is because they don’t know enough about them, so any concerns will inevitably wane over time. Technology is evolving at an unprecedented pace, so it will be fascinating to see whether consumer adoption will match.”