View of Oxford Circus in London, Uk.

A survey commissioned by Kwik Fit, a car servicing company, in the UK has found that the number of drivers planning on making the switch to electrified vehicles has grown since last year.

42 per cent of the 2,003 UK motorists polled on behalf of Kwik Fit by Opinium in September expected their next daily driver would be low-emissions, be it hybrid or fully electric. A rise from the 37 per cent who made the same statement in 2021, and up from the 33 per cent who made the same claim in 2020.

If realized, such an increase would mean one in five new vehicles registered in the UK would be low-emission within the next couple of years.

Like a recent poll conducted by Kia, many explained that the UK’s cost of living crisis is a key consideration when making the jump to electrified vehicles. A sizeable – and understandable – 68 per cent for example stated that the cost of living in the UK impacted their motoring expenditure, with 36 per cent of this figure admitting to using their car less, 19 per cent likely to keep their car for longer than planned to avoid heavy MSRP charges, and 13 per cent admitting to driving more slowly to save fuel. Indeed, of the ICE drivers polled from the 2,003 total, 39 per cent said they had been using their car less frequently compared with just 23 per cent for hybrid and/or EV owners.

Ironically though, as well as encouraging the jump to electrified vehicles, high energy bills have also left many UK motorists – 39 per cent of the total surveyed – reticent to make the switch at all. The costs involved with buying a new EV or hybrid is a significant factor, as is ‘range anxiety’ and a lack of fast-charging points compared with more readily available fuel stations. Indeed, many UK motorists are uneasy about making the switch to EV ownership altogether given the demands a home charger would place on their already high energy bills.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, geographical location also played its part in the survey. More than half of those polled in London for example – 55 per cent – plan to switch to a PHEV or EV for their next vehicle, given the increasingly tight restrictions, both fiscal and by location, placed on combustion-engined vehicles within the city limits. By contrast, only 30 per cent in the North East / East Midlands in the UK is planning to make the switch.

Age also played its part in the survey: 51 per cent aged between 18 and 34 stated their next car would be a hybrid or EV compared with 34 per cent for those aged over 55.

Commenting on the survey results, Kwik Fit noted that the automotive industry had reached a “tipping point,” as a higher cost of living, plus the universal electrification of the car industry as a whole, is pushing more and more people into low-emission vehicles. Some, admittedly, more begrudgingly than others.

“It’s understandable that the rise in electricity costs has caused concern among some drivers, but EVs remain much cheaper to run and the long-term direction of travel is clear. Industry and government must work together to ensure that drives have the confidence to make the switch.”

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