Priced out

Young drivers can't afford EVs

Young drivers are being priced out of the electric vehicle (EV) market.

That’s the view of Andrew Leach, managing director and founder of salary sacrifice and fleet management specialist, Fleet Evolution.

Specialising in EVs, he believes insurers’ outdated attitudes, lower salaries and high front-end prices of vehicles are discouraging young people from investing. 

Want but can’t have

Research in the past 12 months has shown that an overwhelming majority of drivers under the age of 25 (77%) would like to go electric. However, cost is the main barrier to making the transition from fossil fuels.

A recent study into EV adoption in the UK, published in association with a consortium of leading automotive experts, exposed the contradiction of theory ad practice. Despite investing in an EV being higher among older drivers, younger drivers aged 25-34 are the most likely to consider them as their next vehicle.

The same study also showed that younger drivers were more likely to perceive costs of driving an EV to be higher than petrol and diesel. This is because the costs are stacked against them, from the lack of second hand models and insurance prices.

Can’t get covered

Leech says there is a “need to make it easier” for young people make the right choice.

“One significant barrier is the cost of insurance. Many insurers still have outdated attitudes to the risk associated with running EVs. Yes, they are more powerful and repair costs are higher. But they are also equipped with the latest advances in driver assistance systems, which make accidents far less likely.

“We have experienced a 70% lower incident rate on our all-electric fleet compared to the previous ICE vehicles, and yet our own insurance costs have risen.

This is exacerbated by company and fleet insurers. They often wont provide cover for drivers under the age of 25.

“Until we see a major change in insurers’ attitudes, it would seem that EVs are destined to incur higher insurance premiums than ICE equivalents.”

Priced out

Another major barrier facing younger drivers is affordability. With lower earnings and savings, student debts and high rents, EVs are just too bigger n investment. This also gos against the road safety ,view that young drivers, being the mot vulnerable, should be in the latest models because of their greater safety features.

Although prices are falling as the number and choice of models on the market increases, it still has a long way to go. When it comes to the used car market, the choice is limited , and most are older models with shorter range and potentially higher maintenance costs.

With the arrival of many new Chinese manufacturers entering the market, competition is expected to cut show room prices further for new models.


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