Nearly half of respondents to a new Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) survey said they expect their next car to be a battery electric (BEV) or plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicle. Fourteen percent of respondents to the survey of experts already drive a hybrid or battery electric vehicle.
The LowCVP survey results were announced alongside the results of a larger AA Populus poll of mainstream motorists at this week’s LowCVP Annual Conference in Westminster.
In the much longer term (beyond 20 years), a majority of respondents to the LowCVP survey expected that they would be driving a vehicle powered by hydrogen.
As expected, most respondents to the survey – conducted by market research consultants Turquoise Thinking for the LowCVP – currently drive a car powered either by petrol or diesel and over 75% expect these to provide the mainstay of road transport fuel for some time to come, with hybrid versions taking an increasing share.
The 303 survey respondents answered the questions on an individual basis but mainly they work for organisations that are members or associates of the LowCVP; a multi-stakeholder Partnership involving government, motor and energy industries, NGOs, academics, road user groups and others, working to accelerate the shift to low carbon vehicles and fuels in the UK.
The ‘Energy for Future Transport’ survey was conducted in time for the results to be announced at the LowCVP’s 2015 Annual Conference, where the morning session was devoted to discussing the question: “Can Formula E electrify mainstream motoring?” FIA Formula E’s Chief Executive Alejandro Agag spoke at the event which was held in advance of the final e-Prix in the first Formula E series – in Battersea Park on 27-28 June. Afternoon sessions focused on the fuels and infrastructure challenges facing future mobility.
91% of respondents to the survey were aware of the Formula E Championship and 72% of the races taking place at the end of the week. 69% said that they think the presence of Formula E in the UK will have a positive impact on the use of low carbon cars in the UK.
Most (84%) respondents think that the uptake of low carbon vehicles will be greatest in urban/city areas, with only 14% thinking that uptake will be similar in urban and rural areas.
The LowCVP Conference 2015 had a particular focus on future mobility in cities. The LowCVP released a report alongside the Conference which focused on local policy measures to encourage the uptake of low emission vehicles.
The Partnership’s work programme also includes, for example, a project to investigate the potential for the introduction of innovative ‘L-Category’ (smaller two and three-wheeled city) vehicles into UK cities.
Andy Eastlake, LowCVP’s Managing Director, said: “The survey results show that the LowCVP’s project and programme activities are focusing on the right areas, but that there is still a great deal of work to do.
“It also shows that there are a wide range of technologies which expert stakeholders think could play a part in the future. It’s important, I think, that policy focuses on cutting carbon and remains as ‘technology neutral’ as possible, to allow this variety to thrive.”