NewMotion, a leader in smart EV charging solutions and a Shell group company, has revealed that over a third (37%) of British drivers say they are likely to buy their first electric vehicle (EV) in the next five years, demonstrating that Brits are keen to support the UK’s transition to an electric future. Further to this, NewMotion’s research has also identified that home charging is appealing for many. When asked about their charging location preferences if purchasing an electric vehicle, almost three quarters (72%) of British drivers said charging at their home would be their top choice – typically a cheaper option than charging on-the-go.
With the UK announcing its plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, the nation is gearing up towards getting as many EVs on the roads as possible. NewMotion spoke to 2,000 British drivers who currently do not own an EV, and identified different wants, needs and expectations when it comes to EV charging – to better understand what support they need when switching to an EV, what their fears are and ultimately, how to approach them about charge points during their EV buying journey.
Getting from A to B
British drivers are dependent on their vehicles, with over half (59%) claiming to drive a vehicle four or more times a week. Of these drivers, almost half (45%) are averaging 10-25 miles on the days they are using their car, while over a third (39%) drives on average less than 10 miles. With only 15% of respondents driving up to 100 miles and just 2% driving more than 100 miles in a day, current EV ranges are more than adequate for the vast majority of these people’s needs.
NewMotion’s research also identified that home charging is appealing to 72% of drivers. With home charging typically cheaper than charging on-the-go – as well as allowing drivers to have greater control of charging costs when charging at home – this research suggests that having access to affordable home charging is important to British drivers. Local shops and supermarkets (35%), car parks (32%), and the workplace (30%) were also cited as ideal charging locations for British drivers, demonstrating why greater charging network interoperability (where you can access lots of networks with one card or app) across the UK is paramount for encouraging EV adoption by enabling drivers to access charging easily wherever they go.
Unlocking the potential of EVs
According to NewMotion’s study, nearly half (47%) believe it is important that people make the switch to driving electric vehicles, while just 18% disagree. Despite high levels of optimism in their EV journey, the study shines a light on different levels of knowledge, enthusiasm and attitudes towards EV charging – highlighting that a ‘one size fits all’ approach will not work when it comes to selling charge points to consumers and meeting their needs.
Only a quarter (26%) believe they have a good level of knowledge about electric vehicles, with just 6% claiming to have done enough research to know what brand and model of EV they would purchase. Interestingly, knowledge levels increase around charge points, with over a third (34%) stating their level of knowledge about how vehicles are charged is good. Despite this, there still is a long way to go. NewMotion’s research found that more than one in three (37%) UK drivers claim they lack knowledge around how EV’s are charged.
A growing EV charging divide
There is both strong optimism as well as anxiety in the market. Price point, quick charging sessions, safety, and professional installation are some of the most important features buyers now want in a charge point. For the majority, safety is something consumers feel really confident about: just 3% of people said that they don’t think charge points are safe.
Cost, however, is clearly an area of concern, as drivers experience anxieties around charge point costs and speed, thus creating barriers for total EV adoption despite the general optimism about the future of EVs. On the flip side, 41% believe charge points are easy to use. However, with just over a third (36%) of respondents feeling confident that EVs are long-lasting, and 33% believing EVs to be reliable and well made, there’s work to do in boosting consumer confidence in these areas.
Striking the best deal(ership)
The study also revealed that dealerships are to an extent the most favoured place for British drivers to buy a charge point. Purchasing a charge point from a dealership was the majority preference with 38% of respondents selecting dealerships as their preferred option. This is compared to 17% selecting energy companies and 5% selecting their lease company, meaning dealerships will be expected to take the lead on selling a direct charging solution.
Alan McCleave, Regional Manager, UK and Nordics at NewMotion, comments: “Alongside a number of key partnerships with car manufacturers, lease companies and making moves to extend the public roaming network, NewMotion is ready to meet this growing demand to support wider EV adoption in the UK over the coming years. We are seeing drivers learn more about the potential of electric vehicles and are confident that the so-called ‘tipping point’ of mass EV adoption in the UK is coming.
To power all of those vehicles, we know that a one size fits all approach won’t work. In our data, we identified consumers’ different wants, needs, and expectations from charging. This means that every customer needs a different type of messaging which will resonate with their needs. As such, players such as car manufacturers will also need to take this into account in their customer approach. For example leading with the price benefits for cost-conscious consumers, or for those nervous about range anxiety, educating them on the number of available public charge points in the UK. This will ensure that it is not seen as a hurdle to going electric, but a benefit”
Driving the mobility transition in the UK
To contribute to a lower-carbon world, NewMotion also offers various integrated services with Shell, which is committed to supporting the energy transition and providing customers with convenient and easy charging through its growing network and investments. This includes access to fast charging solutions at Shell forecourts.
To download NewMotion’s report, ‘Charging through the buying journey’, please visit https://newmotion.com/en-gb/knowledge-centre/reports-and-case-studies/research-guide