The UK economy is on track to receive a £7 billion boost as electric vehicles (EV) become mainstream over the next three years - yet a survey out today reveals that consumers are not clued-up about the technology.
In the poll for npower, nearly half of Brits said the expense of an EV would be a barrier to purchase, estimating the average cost to be over £16,000 when in fact prices start from just £8,000.
Similarly, respondents believed a car would cost around £15 and take seven hours to charge, when in reality the cost is around £2, and an 80% charge can be achieved in just 40 minutes, with the right connection.
Nearly a third of the 2,000 people questioned thought there were less than 50 charging posts in the UK, whereas the real figure is some three times this amount, and growing rapidly thanks to the likes of npower.
And a staggering 60% of Brits thought a fully charged EV could only travel 100 miles or less, but new battery technology means the actual figure will soon be 300.
However, in spite of this lack of knowledge, 33% of Brits still said they would consider purchasing an EV in the next five years, which rose to 41% when the benefits of EVs were explained to them.
Phil Evans, head of e-mobility for npower, which commissioned the survey to launch its new EV Tariff, comments: "Brits might not have much knowledge of EVs, but in spite of this, a significant number of us are still open to buying one.
"In light of our research, the news is all positive - EVs are cheaper to buy and to charge than people think, travel further and in the next couple of years, can be charged all over the UK.
"With 300,000 EVs expected to be on our road by 2014, npower has a big role to play in developing accessible charging posts and tariffs for homes, businesses and public places.
"We recently announced that we will be launching the UK’s first e-mobility tariff, which will go live this summer.
"If people would like to learn more about electric vehicles, we’re encouraging them to come to Grand Designs Live between 30 April - 8 May. Visitors to the npower stand can see the Tesla, the world’s fastest EV, alongside examples of home and public charging points.
Alternatively they can visit our new website npower.com/ev for the latest information.
npower’s home charging points are just one of the initiatives being pioneered by the company to offer consumers alternative ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Other schemes such as npower’s Green Energy tariff ‘npower juice’ and Feed-in-Tariffs for solar photovoltaic panels further incentivise consumers to consider alternative ways of cutting their energy bills and going green.
Visitors to Grand Designs will also be able to find out more about npower’s National Trust Green Energy tariff, which helps support low-carbon initiatives at National Trust sites.