Buyers not sold on electric cars

While manufacturers may be leading the charge when it comes to developing more-efficient electric and hybrid vehicles, a survey by a UK car search site has found the potential buyers of these cars may need more convincing.

A study of about 1000 car buying requests through UK car search site found that less than 1% of its users opt for hybrid or electric models. Furthermore, 41% of Britons prefer diesel power, while 23% of those surveyed opted for petrol.

Although marketing manager Carlo Walther acknowledges that manufacturers are investing heavily in new, more economical models, the buying public needs to be educated first, he said.

“The majority of car buyers do not want to be early adopters and may sit back to see how the market develops before jumping on the eco band wagon,” Walther said.

“The motoring industry has a job to do to educate consumers about real benefits, such as cost of ownership whilst allaying fears surrounding the lack of infrastructure, performance and purchase price. If this does not happen, the future of low emission cars will take off to a very slow start.”

With environmental concerns not ruling British motorists’ buying decisions, Walther suggests the biggest drive in appealing to consumers will be the cost reductions that generally accompany the sale of these cars in international markets, such as free charging bays, exemption from certain taxes and possible government grants.

Of course, the announcement on Monday that the all-electric Nissan Leaf has been adjudged the European Car of the Year may help spur otherwise reluctant buyers to action.
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
Brought to you by
Voting Booth
Petrol prices are almost at R30 per litre. What are you doing to help deal with monthly fuel bills?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
I've downgraded my vehicle.
10% - 92 votes
I've joined a lift club.
4% - 34 votes
Nothing I can do. I am struggling with costs.
62% - 559 votes
Working from home is a saving grace.
24% - 216 votes