Valuation expert Glass, has conducted a survey to determine the number of individuals interested in purchasing a plug-in hybrid or battery powered electric car. The survey results yielded that more than half of those asked would purchase one as their next car.
This 53% result was a five fold jump in interest compared to the same survey conducted in July of 2010, where only 9% indicated interest in purchasing a “green car”. The sample survey totaled 397 individuals and was aimed to determine how the public views the Electric Vehicle Plug-in Car Grant of the UK government. The £43 million grant was proposed by the Labour government out of a total £230 million budget. One of the provisions of the grant includes a 25% discount on the purchase of a new electric vehicle valued at £5,000.
Before such information on the discount 36% of respondents stated they would consider purchasing a hybrid or an electric vehicle. When given the grant information, the interest rose to 53%.
According to the managing director of Glass, Andy Caroll, "This is a phenomenal increase in a very short space of time and represents a fast-growing acceptance of the emergence of electric vehicles into the mass market.”
He further added, "It is also clear that the Government's Plug-in Car Grant is making an impact on figures and could be the deciding factor for people already considering buying an electric vehicle, as well as appealing to those who would not previously have considered it."
Of those not interested in purchasing an EV, 48% of them said cost was not a factor in their decision. This suggested that some external factor affects their interest, such as the number of public recharging stations available. Previous surveys highlighted concerns about the limited range of the vehicles and the number of recharging stations available to the public.
In response, the Government has mandated councils to declare 2011 as the year of the electric car. To support such initiatives, regulations would be relaxed to allow the construction of public charging stations on major thoroughfares and public parking areas.
In contrast, the RAC Foundation, in a study it conducted, found that the high costs of purchase and maintenance of green vehicles are the major hurdles to encourage buyer interest. The foundation has called on the government to initiate a “radical incentive” plan to realize the year of the electric car initiative’s objectives.