One-in-four UK households plan to buy electric or hybrid car in next five years

  • Around one-in-four households want to make the switch
  • But concerns over high prices, batteries with short ranges and lack of infrastructure persist
  • Ofgem pledges millions of pounds of investment to create a more flexible energy system

Time 4 weeks ago

Around a quarter of UK households intend to purchase a pure-electric or plug-in hybrid in the next five years, new research has found.

However, energy regulator Ofgem also found that more than a third of Britain’s roughly 27.8m households said they were unlikely to get an electric vehicle during that period due to concerns over high costs.

The survey found feelings that prices are too high, batteries do not offer enough range between charges and the lack of on-street charging points near homes all played a significant part in the concerns on switching.

The report comes ahead of a new campaign by the regulator to coincide with the COP26 being held in Glasgow where global leaders will discuss green initiatives and greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

The Climate Change Committee anticipates that about 18m battery and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will be on the road by the time the ban on the sale of new internal combustion vehicles is introduced in 2030.

But a report this week by the Public Accounts Committee said the 2030 target would be missed without urgent action to improve infrastructure.

Only 13 electric car models on sale in the UK currently cost less than £30,000, the committee found.


Ofgem said changes were needed because electric vehicle owners are more open to embracing changes in how they use their energy, including signing up for ‘time of use’ tariffs to charge vehicles during off-peak periods.

The majority of consumers (three-quarters) recognised that electricity generation and transport, such as fossil fuel power stations and exhaust emissions, play a big part in contributing to climate change, the report added.

But the research found that only 60 per cent identified that domestic heating, like gas boilers, play a major role.

The International Energy Agency said gas boilers should be banned from 2025 to achieve net-zero emissions by the middle of the century.

Jonathan Brearley, Ofgem’s chief executive, said: ‘As more consumers make the switch to electric vehicles in the next five years, Ofgem will be announcing millions of pounds of investment to create a more flexible energy system to support the electrification of vehicles, renewable generation and low carbon forms of heat.

‘Securing the investment is only half of the answer. Climate change can only be tackled if consumers are engaged in the process. For this to happen the transition to a low carbon economy needs to be fair, inclusive and affordable.’

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer.

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