New reports reveal the reasons that many drivers refuse to change to electric vehicles. There are concerns about infrastructure and range anxiety, as well as concerns over cars becoming obsolete quickly.

These studies were released during the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow. This summit highlighted the importance of a swift transition to EVs as a factor that will help countries achieve net zero goals.

Despite these reservations, however, the UK’s auto trade association says that pure-electric vehicles will surpass diesels in the next year. This is because the UK’s recent boom of EV demand has taken its first victim, an internal combustion engine, ahead of the 2030 ban on new petrols, oil-burners and other fuels. 

EV concerns: A flurry of new reports issued at the start of the second week of the COP26 climate summit have revealed a number of reasons why many drivers are yet to be convinced that electric car ownership is the way to go

EV worries: Many drivers remain skeptical about electric cars. A rash of reports was released at the beginning of week two of the COP26 Climate Summit.

Motorists distrust MPs’ ability to build infrastructure

The Royal Society of Chemistry has released a new study that found many drivers resist making the switch to electric cars because they don’t have faith in government infrastructure.

It comes after local authorities voiced their concerns about a ‘lack of coherent strategic direction at a national level, including no articulation of the vision for the future and lack of clarity over the role authorities were expected to play in delivering EV charging infrastructure’.

An analysis of 3,404 UK-issued licences found that nearly two thirds of those surveyed (63%) are not optimistic that politicians will be able to build sufficient infrastructure in order to facilitate a smooth transition towards fully electric cars by the government’s deadline of end of decade.

This report came on the heels of a British company revealing plans to set up 190,000.00 public charging stations across the country by 2030. Most of these new devices will be funded through government subsidies.

RSC’s survey found that there’s enough public hesitation about electric motoring transitions to derail MP’s efforts to lower air pollution. 34% of respondents said they don’t plan to buy fully-electric vehicles in the next ten years.

However, nearly half of those surveyed (46%) did not believe they were able to fully understand the options and make an educated decision on whether or not their next van or car should be fully electric. 

The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) says one of the biggest hurdles for motorists is their lack of faith in promises to provide a suitable charging infrastructure

According to the Royal Society of Chemistry, motorists face one of their biggest challenges: Their inability to trust that they will be provided with a charging infrastructure.

Professor Tom Welton, president at the RSC, said: ‘After we heard that the Government is delaying its Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy, this research shows there is much work to be done to fully convince the public at large of the merits of switching to fully electric vehicles – but more pressingly, that efforts to deliver critical infrastructure for both charging and recycling EV batteries should be a government priority. 

“We have to increase the information exchange about the government’s plans to switch to an electric vehicle network. This ecosystem must also be improved. These can all help drivers make informed buying decisions. 

Over a third of the drivers polled (40%) expressed concern that EVs could have a detrimental impact on the environment. More than half (57%) of those polled believed there might not be enough recycling options available for electric vehicles. 

55% are also concerned about a lack of natural resources needed to make EV batteries. 

One third of respondents stated that they would not buy an electric vehicle if their batteries contained less precious and scarce elements. 

Despite an EV that can cover over 300 miles in a single charge, there is still range anxiety 

A new report from the AA shows that almost all UK drivers underestimate the frequency of vehicle breakdowns due to problems with EV charging infrastructure.

The patrols were responsible for attending around 13,000 vehicle breaks downs in 2020. Only 4% of those cases involved vehicles that had run out of battery. The number of these incidents has decreased by half in recent years.

However, just 1 per cent (1,500 drivers) could accurately estimate this issue. Two thirds (65%%) of all EV failures were due the main driver battery not being fully charged.

In reality, the top two causes of failures in both combustion engines and electric vehicles are identical. The main culprits being tyres or the small 12-volt battery. 

Despite many electric cars being able to cover more than 300 miles on a single charge, drivers are still concerned about range anxiety and 99% of motorists are wrong about how often EVs breakdown due to running out of battery

Despite electric cars being capable of covering more than 300 miles with a single battery charge, most drivers still worry about range anxiety. 99% are incorrect about the frequency that EVs stop working due to low batteries.

A survey was also conducted asking drivers what the average range an EV can travel in a single charge. However, only 25% of respondents correctly estimated a range up to 200 miles. 

6 percent believed that the latest models provide less than 100 miles per charge. 

It comes as AA president, Edmund King, takes part in EV Rally of Scotland, or ‘EVROS’, which is a five-day event for electric vehicles, covering some of Scotland’s most rugged and hilly terrain including iconic landmarks such as John O’Groats and Ben Nevis. 

The event will see electric vehicle drivers travel more than 1,200mi. This is more than 150m per day. One megaday covers 315mi.  

King will drive or co-pilot the whole route. He said that the EV rally was very pertinent because it is linked to COP26, where international discussions on climate change will take place. 

“It shows that EVs are capable of traveling long distances even in cold conditions, and can also be recharged on such journeys. 

‘Personally, it’s a dream come true to drive an EV and explore the Scottish terrain. It’ll also be a great opportunity to demonstrate how EVs can work.

AA President, Edmund King, pictured with an electric Polestar 2 before embarking on the EV Rally of Scotland this week

Edmund King (AA President) is pictured in an electric Polestar 2 just before embarking upon the EV Rally of Scotland.

According to drivers, EVs today will no longer be practical in three years. 

According to a report from the Smart Lease arm at the AA, 62% of drivers believe that EV technology has advanced so quickly, they could outgrow their cars in three years.

This is despite the fact that many of these models are capable of receiving over-the-air updates to increase range and reduce charging times, as well as adding new features. 

A third of those who put an electric model’s best-before date at three years believe the zero emission vehicles that are currently on production will out-of-date in just one year.

This research shows there are differences across generations. Drivers aged between 18 and 24 years had higher confidence in the durability of EV technology. 8 percent said they believed it would survive for longer than five years. 

This was half the likelihood for older drivers, 65+, to believe that current EV technology would be still relevant in five years.   

James Fairclough CEO, AA Smart Lease said that some drivers are hesitant to invest in EV technology and instead opt for a purchase of a car. 

“Our research clearly shows different levels of confidence among drivers in the durability of new electric vehicle technology. If you aren’t sure whether or not to purchase the technology, leasing can be a good option. Leasing allows you to reap the many benefits of the EV but without worrying about the potential for it to age quickly. 

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