View of Oxford Circus in London, Uk.

A UK survey recently conducted by Kia has found that the recent “cost-of-living crisis” is motivating more motorists to actively change their driving habits and/or transition to an electrified vehicle.

Of the 1,200 motorists polled by Kia in the UK, a survey that took in multiple regions across the nation, more than half (52 per cent) said they were either “likely” or “more likely” to consider switching to a hybrid or EV for their next car, given both the increased price of fuel in 2022 and inflation-related rising living expenses.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, of the 52 per cent considering a switch to electrified personal transport, 56 per cent of them were based in or around London, a motoring pariah at the best of times given increased road tax at the heart of the city and restricted parking options, both residential and city-wide.

Granted, while Kia’s survey apparently bodes well for the Korean brand’s newly launched EV6 and the 14 new electric vehicles that are set to feature on its line-up by 2027, a large number of UK motorists still aren’t quite ready to go the full EV route just yet.

Indeed, of the 52 per cent who’d consider the electrified transition, 42 per cent would still prefer the cushion of hybrid propulsion. This is also evidenced by the fact that a sizeable proportion of those polled preferred instead to change their driving habits to save money.

37 per cent for example admitted to using their cars less for short, urban journeys, while another 37 per cent opt to walk or cycle short distances now rather than take their cars. 33 per cent of the 1,200 people polled meanwhile admitted to paying more attention where they fuel-up (based primarily on the costs per litre) while 28 per cent said they now thought further ahead while planning long journeys, in much the same way an EV owner ‘plots’ their charging points across a long drive. Driving styles also came under scrutiny, with 31 per cent – more than half of which were aged between 18 and 24 years old, bizarrely – actively driving ‘more efficiently’ at lower speeds and with less aggressive acceleration to preserve fuel levels.

Much like Citroën’s UK surveys conducted earlier this year, these are figures that should be read with the requisite pinch of salt, given each brand’s commitment to electrification during the latter half of the decade. Still, that electrified vehicles – oftentimes considered too niche or even burdensome for day-to-day driving – are increasingly becoming ‘the way to go’ for prospective customers, external factors notwithstanding, is a vote of confidence for the EV industry all the same, aided admirably by manufacturers themselves. Kia itself for instance recently proved the credibility, the reliability, and, most significantly, the electric range (always a bugbear) of an EV6 ‘Air’ with a ‘Driven To Extremes’, 5,109-kilometre drive from Oslo, Norway, to Portugal, a marathon that covered 16 countries in a little over 89 hours.

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