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Switched On - More Drivers Now Expect Next Car to be Electric or Hybrid rather than Petrol or Diesel

Kwik Fit | Tuesday 27th July 2021 5:32pm

  • In London, two thirds of drivers opting for low emission models
  • Lack of fast charging still biggest barrier to EV adoption
  • Kwik Fit now has over 570 technicians qualified to work on EVs

New research released today reveals that the number of drivers expecting their next car to be fully electric has risen by 32% in twelve months.

A study for Kwik Fit, the UKís leading automotive and servicing and repair company, reveals that 11% of drivers who are planning to change their car expect its replacement to be fully electric. This compares to 8% of drivers a year ago. When including hybrid vehicles, the number of drivers anticipating opting for a low emission model for their next vehicle rises to 37%, a rise from 33% over the last 12 months.

In the last year, hybrid or fully electric cars have overtaken petrol and diesel models as most driversí expected next vehicle. Twelve months ago, Kwik Fitís research showed that the 33% of drivers who expected their next car to be a low emission vehicle were outweighed by the 41% who said their next car would have a petrol or diesel engine. This balance has been reversed, with the 37% now stating that their next vehicle would be low emissions outstripping the 35% likely to opt for a diesel or petrol model. (28% of drivers said they didnít know, compared to 26% a year ago.)

Of all the UK regions, drivers in London are the most likely to be considering switching to either a hybrid or fully electric, with 65% of drivers saying they are doing so. The second highest region is the North East, with 49%, while the lowest is Scotland, where only 24% say they are opting for a low emission motor in their next car.

The research indicates there is a challenge for policy makers looking to encourage drivers to switch to electric as soon as possible. Kwik Fitís research found that on average, drivers expect to change their vehicle in 21.6 months. Those expecting their next car to be electric plan to change their car in an average of 23.9 months, compared to 17.6 months for those opting for internal combustion models.

Although low emission vehicles as a whole have overtaken diesel and petrol models as planned purchases, only one in nine drivers (11%) planning to buy another vehicle are considering fully electric cars. Kwik Fitís research examined the factors which are putting drivers off going full electric.

While the greatest deterrent varies in some regions, overall the lack of fast charging points is the biggest factor, cited by 38% of drivers not yet considering swapping to fully electric. This rises to 51% among Welsh drivers and 50% in Yorkshire. In the North East, South West, South East and Scotland, the increased cost over an equivalent petrol or diesel model is the greatest barrier. For drivers in the West Midlands and the East of England, their biggest concern is the perceived restrictions on range of electric cars.

Reasons drivers are not considering buying an electric car for their next vehicle

Reason % of Car Owners Not Considering Buying an Electric Car
The lack of fast charging points in the areas I commonly drive 38
The increased cost over an equivalent sized petrol, diesel or hybrid car 36
The restrictions on range/inability to travel long distance on a single charge 35
I would not be able to charge it at home 33
I am worried that the batteries wonít last very long and need replacing 26
I prefer traditional petrol or diesel engines 16
I want to know more people who have one before I commit 16
I donít believe that they are more environmentally friendly than existing cars 12
I donít like the style of electric cars available 8
There isnít an electric car which provides the power I need 8

Source: Kwik Fit, 2021

Kwik Fit has been investing in its electric vehicle capabilities alongside the growth in the EV car parc and now has over 570 technicians qualified to work on EVs, the largest EV qualified workforce in the automotive servicing sector. Although the pandemic caused some interruption to the companyís training programme, it is now back running at full capacity with the capability for around 40 technicians a month to become qualified on EVs.

Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit says: ďThis research shows that over the last twelve months car buyers appear to have passed a tipping point in the switch to electric cars. However, although consideration of low emission models has overtaken that for petrol and diesel there is clearly still a lot to do to convince some drivers. Some barriers to consideration can be put down to misperception or a lack of up to date knowledge and the industry must work together to address those areas. But it is also vital that there is visible investment made in the charging infrastructure to ensure that drivers have the confidence to make the switch.

ďAt Kwik Fit we have been heavily investing in our EV capability to provide drivers with the reassurance that they will be able to get their car repaired across our network, whatever type of fuel it uses.Ē

In order to find the services offered at their nearest Kwik Fit centre drivers can contact the centre directly. Details of their nearest centres are available at kwik-fit.com

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Sources:

Research carried out by Opinium among nationally representative samples of 2003 UK adults in 26-29 June 2021 and 2003 UK adults 3-6 July 2020

About Kwik Fit

Established in 1971, the Kwik Fit Group is one of the largest independent automotive parts, repair and replacement specialists in the world. Kwik Fit has over 600 service centres across the UK and more than 200 mobile tyre fitting vehicles, making it the UKís leading tyre, exhaust, brake and MoT specialist. Details of its range of products and services can be found at kwik-fit.com




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