Motorists Not Receptive To Hybrid & Electric Vehicles

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Motorists are most concerned about running costs over emissions

It turns out that hybrid and electric vehicles aren’t as popular as initially thought in the UK, with just 19% of motorists stating that they would consider switching to the more environmentally friendly vehicles.  47% of respondents said that lower running costs were more enticing than the prospect of the vehicle being environmentally friendly.

From 2017 only new vehicles that produce zero emissions are exempt from vehicle excise duty and vehicles that produce up to 100g/km carbon dioxide will be subject to charges from £10 - £100 in the first year. Currently vehicles that produce under 100mg/km of carbon dioxide don’t have to pay the tax. There have been concerns raised that the change in this law could be stifling the consumers’ appetite for electric and hybrid vehicles as they will still be subject to pay tax; something they had previously been exempt from paying.

There has been a concern that the rise in electric car sales could cause a UK “power crunch”. Charging 20,000 cars is the output of an entire power station, and it is estimated that nearly a third of power stations could be overloaded if electric cars become a mainstream option.

In a year-on –year comparison, contrasting November 2014 with November 2015 there has been a 6.2% increase in sales. In October 2015 there was a significant increase in sales of plug-in hybrid vehicles due to the EV car grant being replaced. Ford are also planning to invest £3bn into the electric car market and in the next five years plan to release a further 13 electric vehicle models; along with spending money on researching batteries.  The plan is that in five years’ time 40% of Ford’s models will be available in electric versions, according to chief executive Mark Fields.

It’ll be interesting to see how electric and hybrid vehicle sales will be affected by the revelation that they will be subject to vehicle excise duty, or whether increased investment from companies such as Ford will counteract those concerns and encourage motorists to invest in the technology.  

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