90 percent of consumers would choose to drive an electric car if it had a range of 300 miles before it needed charging.

A comprehensive study by the Transport Research Laboratory has provided a roadmap to Electric Vehicle adoption in the UK.

Its results reveal the ‘tipping points’ for when mainstream consumers will be likely to adopt both fully electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles; provides compelling evidence for how the increased electricity demand from these vehicles can be managed; and reviews how the speed of transition could be accelerated with OEMs, governments and consumer forces working together.

Dr George Beard, TRL’s Head of ULEV Consumer Research, and Technical Lead for the CVEI Trials, explains: “The trials undertaken as part of the CVEI project are the first and largest of their kind. We provided 447 mainstream consumers with real-world experience of using both Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) for their day-to-day journey needs.”

Across the trials, in-depth data on mainstream consumers’ attitudes, perceptions and choices were gathered from surveys, and detailed information was gathered from vehicles and chargepoints for 584,000 miles of journeys and 15,700 charge events, covering both home and public locations.

The results have produced the most comprehensive picture of the future of UK road transport in the electric powered era, and has defined the ‘tipping-point’ in terms of consumer choice.

50 percent of consumers indicated they would likely choose a PHEV as a main or second household car, or a BEV as a second car, in the next five years and 50 percent of mainstream consumers would consider a BEV as a main car if its range increased to 200 miles; increasing to 90 percent of mainstream consumers if the range was 300 miles.

Adoption can be encouraged through provision of rapid charging infrastructure every 20 miles on motorways and A-roads while providing rapid chargers with 150kW charging rates is also likely to increase adoption.

Dr Neale Kinnear, Head of Behavioural Science at TRL, says: “The need for cleaner, more efficient modes of travel is increasingly required to meet objectives such as the Road to Zero. However, the pace of this change will ultimately be dictated by consumer demand.

“With this ground-breaking CVEI project, TRL and its partners are providing vital evidence proving the mass market is willing to make the switch to electric vehicles, within particular parameters. The detailed findings will help inform UK and European policy and industry, including what is required by the energy sector to enable it to successfully contend with the resultant significant increase in electricity demand.”


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