Tuesday 22 October 2019

Majority of motorists thinking about switching to electric vehicle in next five years

electric cars. Stock picture
electric cars. Stock picture
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

A MAJORITY of motorists are thinking about switching to an electric vehicle over the next five years, comprehensive new research reveals.

In a significant insight into how drivers are thinking, the research highlights how almost half of Irish motorists believe carbon taxes and environmental concerns will help decide whether or not they will even own a car within 10 years.

Climate Action Minister Richard Bruton will take heart from strong indications that so many are thinking about shifting to EVs (53pc) and to learn that a majority (54pc) are concerned about the impact of transport on the environment.

He will be less pleased to hear that 48pc believe his government will not achieve targets aimed at reducing CO2 emissions from transport.

The study finds, however, that there is support (35pc) for Dublin to introduce a ban, similar to Paris, on all petrol and diesel-fuelled cars by 2030.

The research was commissioned by Europcar Mobility Group Ireland. A representative sample of 1,000 people were surveyed.

Surprisingly, it found that people seem less tuned in to the cost of running a car than might be expected. They underestimated costs by 40pc - €6,000 compared with the €10,500 calculated by the AA.

Despite the cost, 73pc put being able to drive their own vehicle as a top reason for owning a car. Family needs (67pc) and lack of suitable public transport (50pc) are also major factors.

The study’s headline finding is that 53pc would consider buying an electric or hybrid car in the next five years. Only 18pc will buy diesel or petrol (15pc).

But 77pc are concerned about the lack of charging stations – something Mr Bruton claims is being resolved apace - while 68pc regard the price of an EV as a potential barrier. And 46pc would trade in their current vehicle for an EV if the government reduced VRT on the new cars.

Other findings reveal how:

*15pc plan to increase their use of car-sharing services in five years.

*12pc expect to make more use of bike-sharing schemes, 14pc plan more car rental and 11pc will increase use of electric scooters.

*14pc would question if they need to own a car at all due to remote-working flexibility.

* 9c will sell their car in favour of alternative transport options.

*24pc plan to use public transport more.

The research was designed to look at how people expect to get around in future and was part of the European Mobility Week push for cleaner and sustainable urban transport.

Colm Brady, managing director Europcar Mobility Group Ireland, said: “People’s attitudes to car ownership and sustainable transport are constantly evolving, and now, more than ever before, they are rethinking their individual transport requirements and considering flexibility, cost and importantly - environmental impact.”

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