More than a third of UK drivers have poor knowledge of electric vehicles

Survey of 2,000 motorists conducted by Peugeot UK also reveals less than half of drivers knew that battery-powered electric vehicles emit zero emissions. 

In total, 38% of those surveyed said they had ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ knowledge of electric vehicles (EVs). What’s more, 12% didn’t know there’s a difference between plug-in hybrid cars and full EVs.

Blue electric car being charged  

Some 70% of respondents admitted to being confused by the way different providers operate. A similar percentage struggle to understand the language used around EV power, battery capacity and efficiency. Just 31% knew that battery capacity is measured in Kilowatt Hours (kWh).  

In more positive news, 23% of respondents said their understanding of EVs was ‘good’ or ‘excellent’.  

A major takeaway from the findings is the generation gap: 46% of 18-24 year-olds correctly identified ‘Miles per kWh’ as the unit commonly used to measure efficiency in EVs. Just 20% of over-65s did the same. 

Some 58% of the younger group thought their knowledge of EVs ‘good’ or ‘excellent’, while half of those aged over 65 scored their knowledge as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’. 

Another factor seems to be location. In London, 10% of respondents claimed an excellent knowledge of EVs – the highest of any region. The north-east had the lowest understanding of the new technology, with 53% of respondents scoring themselves as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’. 

Oddly, 79% of Londoners were familiar with the term ‘Ultra Low Emission Zone’ (ULEZ). That might seem high but means a further 21% are ignorant of the scheme currently in operation throughout central London and which will expand to all London boroughs from August.

There is clearly more work to be done here. 

Adam Wood, Managing Director of Peugeot UK, seems to agree. He says: ‘Our research reveals there are still gaps in the public’s understanding of electric vehicles, with many motorists unaware that EVs such as the new Peugeot e-2008 offer zero tailpipe emissions and can be charged to 80% in just 30 minutes. Peugeot is committed to helping customers understand the benefits of going electric, so they can find the model that’s right for them.’ 

In related news, the newly formed industry association ChargeUK has announced £6bn for the UK’s EV charging infrastructure.

Photo by MyEnergi


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