The electric revolution is coming. Fast.

Updated 19 November 2020.

The Government has pledged to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars – barring some hybrids – in 2030. But, we’ve done some research, and it seems that Brits are ready to switch to electric vehicles much, much sooner.

Brits likely to go electric in four years.

Our research revealed that on average, Brits expect to buy their first electric vehicle within the next four years. That’s a while before petrol and diesel vehicle sales will stop.

There are a lot of reasons why people are eager to switch and get behind the wheel of an electric vehicle:

  • Saving money on fuel: 40%
  • Having an environmentally friendly, zero-emission vehicle: 40%
  • Saving money on maintenance: 33%
  • Being able to charge at home: 31%
  • No more unpredictable fuel prices: 29%
  • Government grants towards the cost: 26%
  • Not having to pay the congestion charge: 15%
  • Having a silent engine: 15%
  • Having a modern looking vehicle: 12%
  • Faster acceleration: 11%

It’s not too shocking to see money saving on the list, as the average zero emission model is now cheaper to own over its lifetime than its petrol equivalent.

But, there are some concerns…

While there are a lot of positives about going electric, our research did flag some concerns:

  • Running out of charge mid-journey: 62%
  • A lack of charging stations nearby: 57%
  • The time it takes to charge an electric vehicle: 55%

And there are a few things people will miss about petrol and diesel, from the experience behind the wheel, to, well, the sounds and smells…

  • Easy refuelling: 40%
  • A wide choice of vehicles to choose from: 26%
  • The overall driving experience: 24%
  • The smell of petrol: 14%
  • Revving an engine: 12%

At least missing the smell of petrol can be fixed by a very niche in-car air freshener.

So, it looks like the electric revolution is going to be here sooner than expected. As our Commercial Director, Mark Newberry, explains, we’re excited to see this happen, as long as the transition to electric is made simple for drivers.

“Cutting emissions is a crucial step in the fight to tackle climate change. Whilst research has shown the long-term financial and environmental benefits of switching to electric vehicles, any changes implemented on UK roads need to go hand-in-hand with further government incentives and workable road pricing schemes to help make the transition more manageable for road users.”

Will you be moving from petrol or diesel to electric soon? Drop us a comment and let us know.

If you’re ahead of the curve, and already have an electric vehicle, find out more about our electric vehicle breakdown cover.

Research conducted on 1,500 UK drivers, October 2020, by Censuswide.

42 comments on “The electric revolution is coming. Fast.

  1. Ray Stevens 30/10/2020 11:42 AM

    main reason i won’t be buying a leccy car any time soon is because they do not have a good enough mileage range, imagine driving to Scotland from london, stop overs how many just to recharge the battery plus 3 nights minimum on route, my leccy bike has a range of 95 miles maximum might as well ride up there and enjoy the scenery on route Covid Free of course not before….Electric Cars Not for Me !!!

  2. Ray Stevens 30/10/2020 11:45 AM

    should have added, cost per charge for the car ? cost of charge per leccy bike probably around ten pence so for scotland ride around 0.40p for bike

  3. john graver 30/10/2020 11:48 AM

    Do we as in the united kingdom have the minerals to manufacture our own batteries or are we going to be dependant on others as with oil to keep us going.

  4. david deeley 30/10/2020 5:40 PM

    People are panicking for nothing do you all realise how expensive your electric is going to be including electric for your house too a bit like this pandemic ” Lets all panic” get a bike ?.

  5. Ian Bruce 31/10/2020 8:04 PM

    No one is willing to make a comparison on cost of fuel which is cheapest to run. And Hybrid or Plugin hybrid. If you drive a Hybrid why o why would you want the inconvenience of pluging it in ????? Someone please explain.

    • James Foxall 03/11/2020 9:20 AM

      Hi Ian. If you go to the Go Ultra Low website it explains the cost of running electric cars. Fuel is usually reckoned to be around a third of the cost of an internal combustion engine. I have no agenda either way but I’m currently running a plug-in hybrid Volvo. I can do most of my local miles on full electric and plugging it in really is zero inconvenience. You get home, plug it into the mains and leave it. Like many things: we adapt.

      • Ian Bartlett 30/12/2020 10:20 AM

        Except for the millions who live with no off street parking so can’t ‘plug it in at home’. Largely those who run older bangers as that’s all they can afford. This is simply disenfranchising the poorer members of society.

    • Susan Roch 04/11/2020 7:21 PM

      I have a hybrid, would not swap it for a full electric car, no charge points where I live !!

  6. chris owen 01/11/2020 11:31 PM

    When these people find out the extra cost of an electric car, they will not be so keen. Only the well off can afford them.

    • Alan Alborough 22/12/2020 4:32 PM

      I’ve got one – I’m not “well off”

  7. Andrew Metcalf 05/11/2020 12:39 PM

    II live in Scotland an electric car crashed just outside my house the car was on its roof the diver was not hurt. The police came out and had to stay with the car as damage batteries are extremely dangerous and can catch fire with vengeance. The police stayed with the car until the specialist recovery truck came. The batteries in these cars are lithium amongst other things which is lethal if someone was to come in contact with it. It’s only a matter of time before the powers that be fined a way of taxing electric used in the electric cars. Yes we do need to get rid of the internal combustion engines but there are much better alternatives to batteries. Hydrogen electric fuel sells, much safer the car can be refuelled in about the time it will take to refuel a petrol one, much safer than batteries or petrol because if the tank is ruptured the gas is in liquid form so it will come out in a jet which will just go up not spread all overs the road like petrol. Apart from all that how are we going to power all the trucks which deliver the goods we use, batteries have not got the distance and apart from this they will take up much of the pay load of the truck due to their weight.

    • Henry Stone 22/12/2020 9:13 PM

      Hydrogen fuel when leaking will turn to gas which will make it easier to find an ignition source. Liquid fuel is easier to contain if spilled

  8. Rob Serjeant 22/12/2020 2:39 PM

    Very happy to stay with petrol/diesel until true economies of scale kick in for electric vehicles. The limited range, weight, charging points are all issues, as is the prohibitive cost. Zero emissions is a fallacy, how does the electricity get generated? Long term, all the issues will be fixed, there will be increasing disincentives to stay with petrol/diesel and then the switch will make more sense. Happy motoring, whatever you drive.

  9. Stuart Wallis 22/12/2020 4:42 PM

    Where are the thousands of chargers going and who is paying for them. Nobody ever explains this. Many cars are parked out in the road, where do owners charge these. Recent research has shown an electric car has to travel 50,000 miles before saving on carbon emissions over a ICE car. Electric cars good headlines but just not practical. Think again before 2030.

    • chris owen 22/12/2020 11:16 PM

      Yes, the cars parked out in the road are going to be a big problem because most urban owners will have to plug them in to their houses using extension leads over the pavement. Pedestrians are going to trip up and be injured because this will be at night.

      • colin mayne 23/12/2020 2:04 PM

        They might even unplug your lead in the early hours to top up their leccie, now that is inexpensive running costs !! ha ha

  10. Roger Dennis 22/12/2020 7:06 PM

    The potential unintended consequence of going ‘all electric’ is the potential demise of the petrochemical industry. Only about 50% of crude oil is refined into petrol, diesel and other fuels such a avgas etc. The other 50% goes to produce a very wide range of other products that modern life depends upon – take a look here: and draw your own conclusions. There are two sides to every coin!

  11. Kevin McElhone 23/12/2020 7:15 AM

    Hydrogen cars give much better range and always will.
    How do you de-mist the window on an electric car to remove frost?
    You cannot heat up the engine to surely heating electrically will further reduce the range like putting the headlights on?

  12. COliff 23/12/2020 9:39 AM

    I am on my second EV – driving them for five years now.
    You learn to work with the car rather than see problems.
    Charging is easy – even Worcester is full of chargers – I accept that it is not so easy out in the country, here we live, but if you charge at home your next stop will likely be at an easy location.
    Every MWay station has plenty as do many petrol stations like BP and Shell.
    Stop for a coffee and come back to a charged car – easy.

  13. R Wallace 23/12/2020 10:12 AM

    Has anyone added up how much extra capacity will be required on the national grid? if all vehicles were electric then on average tens of thousands(if not hundreds of thousands, because people will tend to charge in the evening or morning) will be charging at the same time. It has been said that the grid is running at near capacity now. Where is the extra electricity going to come from? Also there can never be enough plug-in points for the number of cars, due to the charging time.

  14. Dave Breeze 23/12/2020 12:29 PM

    I live near the Mid Wales border and much of my driving is on rural roads in the area. Over the past 20 years there has been a huge reduction in the number of filling stations in the area meaning you have to be constantly aware of the how much fuel you have in the tank. I think there will need to be a huge government investment in public rural recharging stations as I suspect private providers will not find it cost effective.

  15. Anthony Fox 23/12/2020 1:04 PM

    People are loathe to mention the cost of battery replacement of electric vehicles every 5-10 years .
    I have heard quotes of a minimum of c. £5,000 for the cheaper vehicles to £50,000 – or more. Many of the elements used in the batteries are in short supply including lithium. There is not enough of such materials for ALL of us to go electric. So other solutions such as low/no carbon produced hydrogen are needed !
    Anthony Fox, Hampshire

  16. Andrew Bradshaw 23/12/2020 1:46 PM

    How long before the batteries require replacing, at huge cost, on both hybrid and all electric?

  17. Malcolm Lewis 23/12/2020 1:50 PM

    All the hype about electric cars seems to overlook the cost of having to replace a battery. They cost a few thousand pounds, so who is going to buy a used car with that cost to look forward to . The lithium is available at the moment but what happens when the supply starts to run low ? . The cost goes up and up …again the used car market will not exist. At least with combustion engines they are developing other fuels .

  18. barry 23/12/2020 1:58 PM

    And the batteries still don’t last the life of the car, but cost as much as a current second-hand car to replace.

    • Jimmy Cooper 23/12/2020 11:10 PM

      First of all- your E.V. can save you money on your household bills, with the right equipment and an energy supplier who operates a reduced tariff overnight, you can charge up on a timer set to the reduced rate then when you get home use the surplus battery storage to power your home at peak times thus lowering your household bills. One worry would be when travelling, finding the charging stations are occupied and the car owners have gone off shopping or are having a meal, you could be in for an horrendous wait even before you start charging your car.

    • John Faulkner 01/01/2021 3:13 PM

      Properly managed the batteries will outlast the car. We are learning all the time how not to damage them or shorten their life.

  19. Peter Rand 23/12/2020 4:04 PM

    I looked at a second hand electric car. 2017 registered, £11K, and the salesman, when I asked about the range, said it would be less than 100 miles in summer and more like 50 in winter. Who wants to pay 11 grand for a car that will only go 50 miles?

  20. Paul Butler 23/12/2020 8:23 PM

    What about the replacement cost of the batteries and how long do they last.

  21. jaybea46 23/12/2020 8:26 PM

    I have a self charging hybrid. I would not want an all-electric unless it charged itself. No way of charging at home and I’ve never seen a charging point (which I understand are not universally suitable for every car) anywhere near me. I’m more than ahppy with my hybrid Toyota.

  22. John bezemer 23/12/2020 9:09 PM

    How will the government make up the lost revenue on car rax and fuel?
    What about towing with so much extra weight of the battery. At the moment very few electric cars have any rating to tow .

  23. Mike 23/12/2020 10:53 PM

    How much CO2 does it take to produce the batteries in the first place. As road tax reduces from the reduction of petrol/diesel cars the Government will then have to increase taxes on electric cars to generate the income for the Treasury. To make up the shortfall.

  24. James Cooper 23/12/2020 11:01 PM

    First of all- find an energy supplier operating cheaper night time leccy, then charge up overnight and use up the battery surplus to power your house at peak times for a saving on your household bills. One worry is using forecourt ‘pumps’ on a journey because if the leccy stations are occupied, the waiting time could be horrendous- if the owners are having lunch or shopping, they will not worry about getting back on time and you could be ages before you get on a charger.

  25. Mr Barry Caplan 23/12/2020 11:33 PM

    What happens to the batteries when you have to buy new ones and what will the cost be? theirs’s not enough charging points and they have to be quick chargers.

  26. Dave 24/12/2020 12:25 PM

    Be careful. Look what happened to the price of diesel when it became more popular.
    The chancellor will be looking at ways of relieving us of our money when fuel duty falls.
    I have seen some ideas floated and be sure electric motoring will not be as cheap as is currently anticipated.

  27. Patrick 24/12/2020 1:36 PM

    An electric vehicle is only “greener” if it is run on renewable electricity. Has anyone thought about where all this extra renewable electricity will come from? How it will be stored until needed? How it will be distributed? The technology simply does not exist & 2030 is far too early to try to introduce it, forcing a timescale on developing tech will only result in bad results

  28. John Faulkner 24/12/2020 3:45 PM

    I am surprised how ill informed many if these comments are.
    I am on my second all electric and I will never have another diesel or petrol car.

  29. Nick bourne 25/12/2020 10:50 PM

    Can someone give a definitive answer as to the lifetime of these batteries?.and they are far from a clean process to produce let alone the exorbitant cost

  30. Trevor Johnson 27/12/2020 12:10 PM

    Trevor Johnson.
    I go on a lot of holidays now with my touring caravan.
    There is not an electric vehicle on the market yet that is capable of towing a 1800kg touring caravan. What is going to happen to this industry.

  31. r.pantlin 28/12/2020 12:13 PM

    It would be handy if John faulkener could explain on which subjects others are ‘ill informed’ and how he parks and uses of his car so that some of the concerns listed are overcome or maybe not applicable to his use.

  32. Neil 29/12/2020 4:46 PM

    think I will wait about 10 years for a hydrogen fuel cell electric car. They are coming. Same ease of use a petrol or diesel car. Same range, better performance, same filling time. Just waiting for the refill infrastructure, and “green” hydrogen.

    All electric cars currently drive about 40 miles of every 100, powered by fossil fuel. They just move the pollution to the power station.
    All hybrids are pointless they still run on fossil fuel.

    Green hydrogen FCEV,s are the future, with the exception of BEV,s for short local and inner city trips. It will start with trucks, buses, trains and combined heat and power units for houses.

    Three models of hydrogen fuel cell electric cars are currently available in the U.K.. But they must be “green hydrogen” fueled to be zero emissions.
    It can be done, just Google “H2 in Orkney”

  33. D J Groom 01/01/2021 1:30 PM

    Roads and pavements will need to be ripped up to increase the capacity of the grid system. How do people who live in blocks of flats and terrace houses get a charge point if at all?The electric car may be a good idea for short journeys but only for a small number of the population.The real answer is Hydrogen fuel. Meaning factories all ready set up to produce IC engines, with little change in manufacturing and NO loss of jobs, can carry on.

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