300,000 people to buy electric cars by 2014

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A new survey suggests that 300,000 people will buy electric cars over the next three years, which could equate to £7.2bn of sales.

This means that, on current sales levels, electric cars would account for one-in-twenty of the total cars sold in the UK over the coming years.

The study shows that an additional half-a-million electric cars could be sold if consumers’ barriers to electric car purchase can be overcome.

Seven in ten motorists have so called ‘range anxiety’ – concerns over the distances electric cars can travel. The same proportion are concerned over the limited availability of charging points, while half have reservations over the length of time taken to charge the vehicles.

And although the government is committed to subsidising electric transport with its ‘Plug-in car grant’ – up to a £5,000 contribution towards an electric car – the message has not yet reached the public. Two-thirds of people admit to being put off by the cost of the vehicles.

1.8 per cent of people said they would definitely buy an electric car in the next few years which works out at 300,000 people across the car-buying population.

Almost 3 per cent of people say they would buy an electric car if barriers were overcome, which works out at 500,000 people across the car-buying population.

The main concerns were limited battery range (68 per cent), limited availability of charging points (68 per cent), the price of electric cars (64 per cent), and time taken to charge the battery (54 per cent).

The study was conducted by GfK Automotive, who interviewed 5,053 UK citizens online between 16th and 30th November 2010. GfK Automotive is part of the GfK Group and is the UK’s leading specialist automotive market research consultancy.