Climate change fears set to drive ‘huge surge’ in Electric Vehicle buying

Published on September 24, 2019

New data shows the majority of car buyers expect to go electric, but fears over lack of charging infrastructure and vehicle range could still hold adoption back

London, United Kingdom - September 24, 2019Geotab, a global leader in IoT and connected transportation, has today revealed its new research data that suggests a ‘huge surge’ in adoption of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (EVs) could be on the way – with almost two thirds (60%) expecting their next vehicle to be hybrid or electric.


The research, based on a survey of over 3,000 UK consumers, found that growing climate change awareness is a key factor behind the shift. When identifying factors that would appeal to them in an EV, 45% highlighted the reduction in running costs, 41% cited reducing their impact on the climate as a key motivator, and 37% for lowering tax costs.


The importance of climate change in decision making varied from region to region. While Greater London has, according to recent government data, the highest level of concern about climate change in the UK, with almost half (44%) of citizens in Greater London claiming to be ‘very concerned’ about climate change, just 37% identified the climate as a key motivating factor in Geotab’s survey. Conversely, in the East Midlands, where under a third (29%) of people are very concerned about climate change, 42% of people consider it to be a key motivating factor.


“The difference in consumer attitudes between different regions of the UK shows the impact that EV policy can have,” suggested Edward Kulperger, VP Europe at Geotab. “Greater London has both the most mature legislation to encourage adoption of electric vehicles, including the ultra-low emissions zone introduced this April as well as the densest network of charge points in the country. The fact that London is also where consumers are most focused on cost opens up the question of which measures most effectively encourage EV adoption.”


Despite this potential rise in EV purchasing, progress made by the industry in improving electric vehicles’ range and availability of charging points has not stopped these issues from holding back adoption. These remain the top two concerns for consumers with 42% of respondents expressing range anxiety and just under a third (32%) worrying about where they would charge their vehicle.


The high number of charge points in London – 0.74 for every 1,000 people, according to recent publicly-available data – resulted in the highest satisfaction with EV infrastructure in the country, with 38% of Londoners agreeing that their local area has good public EV charging infrastructure. However, the survey also showed that Scotland has just 17% satisfaction, despite having the second-highest number of charging points at 0.61 per 1,000 people.


Additional survey findings include almost all (97%) of respondents have daily round-trip commutes of under 100 miles – well below the average 224 mile range of the UK’s top five best-selling EVs. Despite this, range anxiety is the biggest worry for potential EV purchasers. Alongside this, while 36% of people agreed that the UK is making good progress on EV adoption, 66% believe that the UK needs to do more to increase adoption and 13% of respondents stated that their next car will be a fully electric vehicle; this figure goes up to 23% in Greater London.


“This data shows not only that improvements to infrastructure are vital to encourage EV adoption and that the industry needs to do more to educate vehicle buyers about how far the technology has come, but that the British public are primed to buy into clean, connected vehicles. With climate change being such a significant part of the national conversation, reducing vehicle emissions has never been more important. It’s encouraging to see so many people backing further action in support of EVs,” concluded Kulperger.

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About Geotab

Geotab is a global leader in connected transportation solutions. We provide telematics — vehicle and asset tracking — solutions to over 47,000 customers in 150 countries. For more than 20 years, we have invested in ground-breaking data research and innovation to enable partners and customers (including Fortune 500 and public sector organisations) to transform their fleets and operations. We connect to over 3.8 million vehicles and process more than 55 billion data points a day so that customers can make better decisions, increase productivity, have safer fleets and achieve their sustainability goals. Geotab`s open platform and Marketplace offer hundreds of third-party solution options. Backed by a team of industry-leading data scientists and AI experts, Geotab is unlocking the power of data to understand real-time and predictive analytics — solving today’s challenges for tomorrow’s world. To learn more, visit, follow @GEOTAB on Twitter and LinkedIn or visit the Geotab Blog.