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No looking back

New survey reveals less than 1% of EV drivers want a return to petrol or diesel
Tesla Model 3

A new poll of Zap-Map’s community of electric vehicle (EV) drivers has revealed more than 90% of drivers will not be replacing their current EV with a petrol or diesel vehicle.

The results are strong evidence of the fundamental shift in consumer attitudes in favour of environmentally friendly cars.

‘No thanks’

The poll was carried out in November 2020 and had over 2,000 respondents. 91% said ‘no thanks’ to replacing their EVs with a petrol or diesel vehicle.

In stark contrast, less than 1% were hankering for a return to fossil fuels. 9% said they were not sure.

The majority of respondents were first-time EV drivers; 73% stated their current vehicle was their first EV, and 52% had made the purchase within the last year.

The driver experience

Driver satisfaction was notably higher for both battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

EV drivers reported a satisfaction score of 91 out of 100 (BEV 92, PHEV 84), compared with only 72 for petrol or diesel vehicle ownership.

The data overwhelmingly show the positive impact of the EV experience on drivers who may have become accustomed to loud, inefficient and dirty fossil fuel vehicles.

‘While the challenge is often convincing owners of petrol and diesel vehicles to switch to an electric vehicle in the first place, this data shows that once people have done so they seldom look back – which is also positive news for manufacturers that are investing heavily in electric vehicles and cleaner technology.

‘While would-be electric car drivers might worry about range anxiety, they should also be aware that the number public charge points is increasing rapidly and infrastructure continues to improve. They should also remember that the vast majority of their journeys are unlikely to be over several hundred miles meaning that for day-to-day travel, operating an electric vehicle is a clean and cost-effective option.

‘These figures show the momentum that is behind getting drivers into electric vehicles, something that is likely to build as we move closer to the end of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030. We are doing our bit in giving drivers confidence they can make the switch, with 80 of our patrol vans now fitted with mobile emergency charging units, and half our fleet fitted with All-Wheels-Up recovery systems, removing the need for drivers to wait for a flatbed if they need a tow.’

RAC spokesperson

EVs with top-scoring satisfaction

EV models that received the highest satisfaction scores included: the Volkswagen ID.3, Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid and BMW 3 Series saloon (all 100).

Next came Tesla Model 3 (96), Kia e-Niro (96) and the Hyundai KONA electric (94).

Nearly all the models, including popular ones such as the Renault Zoe (92) and Nissan Leaf (90), also achieved high levels of driver commitment.

‘Our latest poll shows the strong and enduring impact of switching to a clean car. The evidence in favour of electric vehicles grows more compelling with each one of our surveys, even in a year as disruptive as 2020.

‘The challenge for the automotive industry is to take advantage of the opportunities that EVs present, not only in terms of the rapidly expanding range, but also ensuring that sales staff are knowledgeable enough to present the benefits to their customers.

‘At Zap-Map we monitor the growth of the charging network and it’s clear that many of the historical challenges of owning and running an EV have fallen away. The dramatic growth in EV sales in 2020 is one of the good news stories to come out of this difficult year for the car industry.’

Co-founder of Zap-Map

Record-breaking EV sales

The survey results come at a time of record-breaking sales for the electric vehicle industry.

Latest industry figures show that for the year to date, 9.7% of all new car sales had a plug, compared with 3.2% in 2019 and 1.1% in 2015.

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