Cars

EVs too expensive and don't go far enough, say most NI drivers

The Kia EV6 is one of the best electric cars on sale today, but NI drivers are yet to be convinced that EVs are ready to replace petrol and diesel vehicles
The Kia EV6 is one of the best electric cars on sale today, but NI drivers are yet to be convinced that EVs are ready to replace petrol and diesel vehicles The Kia EV6 is one of the best electric cars on sale today, but NI drivers are yet to be convinced that EVs are ready to replace petrol and diesel vehicles

Government plans to ban new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 have yet to gain broad acceptance in Northern Ireland, according to an EV attitudes survey.

A poll of 700 drivers conducted last month for price comparison website CompareNI.com found that 84 per cent are against the policy.

Almost all - 96 per cent - said thought that electric vehicles were too expensive. The average price of a new electric car is just under £50k, which is around £10k more than the average for a petrol car.

And with the average range of EVs today just 219 miles (by the official, and generally over-optimistic, figures), 73 per cent of those surveyed said electric cars didn't go far enough on a charge.

In addition, drivers had major concerns over accessibility of charging points, with almost all (94 per cent) stating there aren’t enough charging points.

Recent government statistics show that Northern Ireland has the lowest level of charging points in the UK, with just 19 devices per 100,000 people. Northern Ireland also had the lowest increase in charging points of anywhere in the UK from October to December 2022, with just 24. In comparison the next lowest was East Midlands with 61 and the highest was London with 593.

Ian Wilson of CompareNI.com said the survey showed a lot of work needed to be done "to get drivers in Northern Ireland on board with the switch to electric vehicles by 2030".

"The proposed changes are just seven years away and yet the survey shows the majority of drivers here are against the switch," he said.

"During the current cost-of-living crisis, nobody wants to pay an average of 25 per cent more to purchase an electric car.

"Pair this with the lack of available charging points in Northern Ireland compared with the rest of the UK and it’s simply not enough to encourage the public here to support these changes."