The top ten factors that would make a driver buy an electric car include trusting the technology, saving money, convenient and quick charging, and being able to travel a long distance on a single charge.

The survey by Opinium* of 2000 UK drivers, commissioned by InsuretheGap, a leading supplier of GAP (Guaranteed Asset Protection), reveals, however, that over half (57%) of drivers are still too daunted by the issues around electric vehicles to buy one (men 54% and women 59%).  Older drivers are even more likely to feel this (over 55s, 62%, and 18 – 34s, 50%).

73% also say that owning an electric car is not feasible as charging points are too scarce, rising to 80% of over 55s.  Rural dwellers (77%) are more likely to say this than urban drivers (64%).

Urban areas currently have the highest concentration of battery-electric and plug-in hybrid cars, with Greater London, the highest (26,513), followed closely by Birmingham (24,431) and Peterborough (12,493).

A fifth (21%) of drivers say their mileage is also too high to make an electric car practical (men 23% and women 19%).

The survey finds the top ten factors that would sway drivers to buy an electric car are:

  1. 66% want quick and convenient charging: Drivers want to be able to charge their car at home quickly, and 39% also want a battery that can be charged in less than ten minutes
  2. 56% want to save money: Drivers want an electric car with lower running and maintenance costs than a petrol/diesel car, and which will decrease their taxes or not add significantly to their electricity bill;
  3. 48% want to be able to travel at least 200 miles on a single charge;
  4. 43% want the battery to last for at least a few years;
  5. 39% want a government grant towards the purchase of an electric vehicle. Some low emission vehicles are eligible for a government grant of up to 35% of the purchase price, up to a maximum of £3,000;
  6. 34% need to trust the technology;
  7. 31% want a driving performance as good as a traditional petrol/diesel car;
  8. 24% want to know that they are contributing to helping the environment;
  9. 24% want to know that the car will hold its value;
  10. 20% want to know that the car’s electric battery is recyclable;

Ben Wooltorton, Chief Operating Officer of, said: “Sales of electric vehicles (EVs) more than doubled last year which shows that car buyers are starting to see them as a real alternative to petrol and diesel; and as the infrastructure to support EVs improves and prices become more competitive, this trend can only continue.

“The current COVID-19 crisis might also cause people to have different vehicle needs in the future, if they’re working from home more and also perhaps not travelling as far or as often. But there’s no doubt that take-up is dependent on the physical infrastructure being in place to support EVs.”

*The survey of 2,000 drivers (18+) was carried out by Opinium from 21 – 27 January 2020.