The Independent Debate

Better charging, cheaper electricity and bigger range - readers on what would convince them to buy an EV

From a more robust charging network to batteries with bigger ranges and cheaper electricity rates - here’s what you had to say

Friday 22 March 2024 09:07 GMT
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Readers share what would convince them to buy an EV
Readers share what would convince them to buy an EV (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

As Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s recent budget came under fire for its failure to provide significant incentives to boost EV sales, we asked Independent readers what would encourage them to switch from a petrol car to electric.

Mr Hunt’s spring Budget did not include sweeteners for private EV buyers, such as a halving VAT on new EVs and a reduction in VAT on public charging, despite industry calls.

Manufacturers have expressed concern that the absence of such incentives could hinder their ability to meet the stringent targets outlined in the Government’s zero emission vehicle mandate.

From a more robust charging network to batteries with bigger ranges and cheaper electricity rates for charging in public, readers had several thoughts on making EV ownership more attractive.

Here’s what you had to say:

‘Manufacturers need to make vehicles that match the present usability’

If a product needs Government (ie taxpayer) paid for incentives to get people to buy it then it doesn’t say much for the economics of making the product.

If I bought a new electric version of my existing hatchback it would cost ?10000 more than the equivalent new petrol version, cost more to run due to the present higher cost of electricity, have a much shorter range and take far longer to “refuel” (recharge).

Manufacturers need to produce vehicles that match the usability of present vehicles and are a similar cost to run, then market forces will lead to the adoption of this new technology.

Halcyon

‘It’s been great to use’

We replaced our 20-year-old petrol car with an EV, when it became too expensive to get repaired.

It’s been great to use, but we can charge at home, which we do 95% of the time.

I’ve driven it to Cardiff and back without delay, topping up just (every time) whilst I make a “comfort break”. Leaving it until the tank is nearly empty only makes sense with petrol or diesel

JohnG

‘Cheaper electricity would be welcome’

‘EV only’ markings in the space next to the charging lampposts, as I don’t have a driveway with my own charger and trying to find a lamppost to charge at that doesn’t have a petrol or diesel car parked next to it is incredibly difficult. Cheaper electricity would be welcome too as I have no way of creating my own electricity.

Maybe it’s just my manor, Tower Hamlets, but there is a severe lack of fast chargers, so it’s a double whammy! Other than that EVs are great!!

GrumpyG

‘No need to accept a degraded experience’

I would only consider buying an EV if I can replicate what I can do now, including the cost of a replacement vehicle. I can drive from London to Manchester, and back, on just 6 gallons of diesel without the need to stop to fill up (400 miles). When I do fill up it takes no more than 3 minutes and I can always do so without having to wait for a pump to be free which are ubiquitous and available at short distances between each other.

To accept anything less convenient or affordable would require me to change how I travel and I won’t agree to that as there is no need to accept that a degraded experience is required.

AVoter

‘Make electric cars better’

Yes. Make electric cars a lot better than they are now. That’s the incentive. Don’t bribe me by taking money away from hospitals saying you’ll give it to me if I make an inferior choice.

TheRedSquirrel

‘The car industry is pushing EVs to save the car industry, not the planet’

Electric cars still have poor and temperature-variable battery capacity; batteries decay in efficiency in a way that petrol and diesel engines simply don’t do; the charging infrastructure is woefully inadequate here, both in capacity and charging speed - I refuse to wait 45 minutes+ drinking over-priced ash-tasting coffee in a bleak and dirty Wild Bean Café. And should you be involved in a serious collision on your way to a frequent and stressful recharge, an EV fire is next to impossible to easily put out.

Also range anxiety is still a thing, and there have been enough software problems to cause alarm too. And what happens to the old and spent batteries when the first wave of EV batteries dies? We don’t really know. What’s the environmental cost of ramping up battery production? We really don’t know.

And finally, EVs have terrible depreciation and awful resale values. And surely it’d be better for the environment for me to keep my existing well-serviced and efficient five-year-old petrol car that I drive once a month or so, than to scrap it and get an EV?

The car industry is pushing EVs to save the car industry, not the planet. If EVs do get subsidised, that’ll help virtue-signalling urbanites and no-one else.

Intactilis

Some of the comments have been edited for this article. You can read the full discussion in the comments section of the original article.

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