BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
Subscribe to Top Gear magazine
Sign up to our Top Gear Magazine

Drivers want more incentives to make the switch to electric

But 90 per cent of drivers switching to electric ‘would never go back’

Published: 18 Sep 2023

Two thirds of drivers would switch to an electric vehicle (EV) sooner if there was more reliable infrastructure and more incentives, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Surprising, huh.

The trade association’s most recent survey found that "nine out of ten who’ve switched would never go back", but it says there’s an urgent need to ramp up incentives and more formal programmes now we’re shifting from the ‘ooh look that's an electric car!' to the more mainstream 'ooh look all the chargers are faulty!' phase.

Advertisement - Page continues below

SMMT has cobbled together some maths calculating one EV is sold in the UK every minute. Sales figures suggest that EVs will account for almost 18 per cent of the UK’s new car sales.

The association has called for a bunch of things government could action to make it easier for drivers to make the switch to electric. It wants to see reduced VAT for EVs, because other net zero products like solar panels, are VAT-free to buy right now. It thinks there should be mandated targets for charge point rollout and it also thinks cutting the VAT on public charging (20 per cent) to fall in line with the VAT charged on domestic charging (five per cent).

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “We are entering a new phase in the UK’s EV transition, in which Britain can, and should, be a leader. We have the industry, the love of new technology and the scale to succeed. Government has recently demonstrated its commitment to EV manufacturing in the UK and that commitment must be extended to the consumer.

“With a new – and still to be finalised – Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate due to revolutionise the market in just over 100 days, supply must be matched by demand. A comprehensive package of measures would encourage households across the UK to go electric now, boosting an industry slowly recovering from the pandemic and delivering benefits for the Exchequer, society and the global environment.”

Advertisement - Page continues below

Top Gear

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

More from Top Gear

See more on Electric

Subscribe to the Top Gear Newsletter

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, you agree to receive news, promotions and offers by email from Top Gear and BBC Studios. Your information will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

BBC TopGear

Try BBC Top Gear Magazine