As the UK nears its 2030 deadline to stop the sale of petrol and diesel cars, new research reveals that 43% of Brits say they won’t consider switching to an EV when they purchase their next vehicle. This is particularly true of older generations with this figure rising to 53% among Gen X and Baby Boomers, and dropping to 25% of Gen Z and Millennials.
New research from Turo, the world’s largest car sharing marketplace, found that the top three barriers preventing car owners from switching to EVs are concerns about initial purchasing costs (87%), battery life (88%) and the lack of public charging (87%).
With some of the cheapest EVs on the market costing as much as £22,000 and installing a charging point costing on average another £1,000, it’s no surprise that drivers are hesitant.
Even for those who would consider purchasing an EV, more than half (58%) are still concerned about the cost. However, a quarter (27%) of the same drivers said that they would be more likely to make the switch if they could offset the costs through sharing economy apps like Turo, where car owners earn an average of £423 a month by renting out their car.
Despite the initial outlay, drivers could be also convinced to go green if there was more accessible charging, with 64% of people saying they would be more likely to purchase an EV if there were more public charging points and 61% more likely to make the switch if they had their own charging point at home.
Costs and charging aside, almost three quarters (72%) of drivers feel that EVs are uncharted territory. Almost half (46%) say that they would be more likely to purchase an EV if they were able to take it for a prolonged test drive.
Despite these concerns, there’s no doubt that consumer interest in EVs is on the rise, with the number of registered electric cars having increased by 20% between 2022 and 2023. Equally, one in nine cars on Turo are run on alternative energy, more than three times the national number.
Derek Hemphill, Glasgow, host on Turo, said: “Over the last year, I’ve more than doubled the number of cars on my Turo page and I now have six vehicles available on the app. I’m strongly considering adding an EV in the near future, but before I do, Scotland will need to boost its EV infrastructure.
“Many of my guests head to The Highlands and need access to charging points on the way. The EV market is still just getting going, and there is a lot of change that needs to be made before they become mainstream. From a driver’s perspective, Turo is a great way ‘to try before you buy’ and really open your eyes to the world of electric cars, from how to use chargers to understanding the range.”
Sam Amadi, London, has a Nissan Leaf listed on Turo. said: “I’ve had my Nissan Leaf on Turo for more than a year and almost half of my guests are first-time EV users. Some of them are using it as an opportunity to try before they buy. It’s a great way to open your eyes to the electric car world, from how to use chargers to understanding the range.
“One of the guests told me that they don’t own a car because they want to reduce their carbon footprint, so when they do hire a car, they prefer it to be an EV. I can really see this way of car ownership – namely sharing – becoming more common in the future.”
Christian Brown, Model e & Ford Blue Comms Manager, said: “When Ford launched the Mustang Mach-E, we knew that many Brits wouldn’t have had direct experience with an EV before. Public awareness, experience and understanding of EVs are essential to the uptake of these vehicles.
“So, we sought to help bridge the knowledge gap by sharing one of our brand-new electric Mustangs on Turo to offer the opportunity to take an extended test drive and experience what owning an EV would really be like. It worked well and gave many potential customers the chance to properly experience the Mach-E before purchasing and it’s something we’re considering doing more of in the future.”
Xavier Collins, UK VP at Turo, said: “As 2030 approaches, there is no doubt that more and more drivers will want to turn to electric vehicles, and we’re delighted to see an increasing number of EVs on our platform. But as our research shows, currently the barriers to purchase are still too big for many.
“Buying an EV is understandably a big step, whether it’s due to the high purchase cost or fear of the unknown. Car sharing is a great way for EV owners to recoup some of those costs. It is also an ideal way for someone who is considering going electric to try before they buy. Instead of a 20 minute test drive with someone sitting next to you, through car renting guests can get the full EV experience before buying.”