UK SMEs sceptical about electric future

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41 per cent of UK SMEs believe that electric vehicles represent the future of motorised transport in the UK, whilst 36 per cent believe it is ‘too early to tell’ and 23 percent were a firm no, according to a survey conducted by Close Brothers Asset Finance.

Despite scepticism about the future role of EVs, 57 per cent say the vehicles are environmentally positive (compared to the current options). And 30 per cent say they have driven an EV but nearly 60 per cent admitted they would invest in one if more incentives were available.

“The recent report by the Transport Research Laboratory stated that only one in four people would consider buying a fully electric car in the next five years,” said Close Brothers Asset Finance, chief executive, Neil Davies. “Our research shows that while only 30% of those polled had ever driven an electric car, the majority (59%) would consider purchasing an EV if more incentives were available; this figure rises to 73% for London business owners, where the Ultra Low Emissions Zones were recently implemented.”

When asked what was hindering the uptake of EVs, the top reasons were down to a lack of charging posts, cost of vehicles, concerns about battery range, recharging times and the cost of installing a charging post at home.

“As the technology improves, issues with range will become less of factor,” said Davies. “And while it makes the top 3 reasons hindering the update of EVs, the lack of public charging points and ‘cost of vehicles’ were first and second; interestingly, nearly 60% of respondents said they would consider purchasing an EV if there were more incentives available.”

The survey was conducted in April 2019 and is based on the responses of 900 firms.