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Scrappage scheme would encourage half of drivers to go electric, survey finds

By / 4 months ago / UK News / No Comments

Over 50% of drivers said they would be more likely to buy a new or used electric vehicle in the next year if the Government introduced a scrappage scheme for petrol and diesel cars, according to a survey.

The survey also asked what drivers thought were the most negative influences on local air quality

The survey also asked what drivers thought were the most negative influences on local air quality

News of a potential £6,000 scrappage scheme to help the UK’s struggling automotive industry and encourage drivers to switch to zero-emission vehicles has prompted 50.4% of drivers to say they would either “definitely” or be “more likely” to switch to a new or used electric car within the next year.

The survey, which accrued 291 respondents and was carried out by nationwide EV charge point installer Smart Home Charge, also found just under 10% said the scheme would not encourage them to make the switch to an electric car and 7.3% said they would prefer to lease or rent an electric car rather than buy one.

Danny Morgan, editor at Smart Home Charge, said a scrappage scheme would give people the extra push they need to switch to an electric car: “Our survey has shown that most people understand how petrol and diesel cars can negatively impact their local environment, particularly air quality. It also shows many people are willing to do something about it, including switching to an electric car.

“But buying any brand new or used car can be a significant investment, so a Government contribution in the form of a scrappage scheme to encourage electric car ownership would not only be a boost to the UK automotive industry but would also be a big step in helping this country achieve its net-zero carbon economy target by 2050.”

The survey also asked respondents how their local area had changed since and during lockdown with 99.3% noticing less congestion and 88.3% less noise pollution, with 98.3% agreeing that electric cars would help reduce noise pollution if they replaced petrol or diesel vehicles.

When asked about air quality, 72.5% of respondents said it was “very important” to them and 97% said the lockdown has had a positive effect on local air quality. A further 68.4% highlighted petrol/diesel vehicles and too many cars as having the most negative impact on local air quality.

Furthermore, 66% of respondents said they would get a fully electric car when asked what they would most likely do to help improve local air quality. Other options included walking or cycling more (14.4%), car sharing (2.1%), avoid driving into town (3.1%) and getting a plug-in hybrid (7.6%).

73.5% of respondents said their driving lifestyle had changed “dramatically” since lockdown began in March, but only 39.2% said this would continue after lockdown and 31.1% suggested their habits would revert to pre-lockdown behaviour. 26% of respondents said they would try to drive less often and another 19.2% would walk or cycle into town or to the shops.

Editor Danny Morgan added “Clearly, electric cars won’t solve the congestion problems we have, but the knock-on effect has been people are more willing to consider a fully electric car because their priorities have changed – better air quality and less noise are both something to strive for and EVs can help with that.”

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Jonathan Musk

Jonathan turned to motoring journalism in 2013 having founded, edited and produced Autovolt - one of the UK's leading electric car publications. He has also written and produced books on both Ferrari and Hispano-Suiza, while working as an international graphic designer for the past 15 years. As the automotive industry moves towards electrification, Jonathan brings a near-unrivalled knowledge of EVs and hybrids to Fleet World Group.