Three in ten electric vehicle drivers say they are 'glad' they made the switch

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Three in ten electric vehicle drivers say they are
Three in ten electric vehicle drivers say they are 'glad' they made the switch from combustion engines (Image: Zipcar UK)

The top things electric vehicle drivers wish they had known before switching to a battery-powered engine include how fast they can go, how many miles they can travel before needing a charge – and even how to start the vehicle, a study has found.

Other unanswered questions EV drivers had before ditching their combustion engine were whether electric cars are family-friendly – and what they should do if the vehicle runs out of battery in the middle of the road.

Nearly three in ten (29%), of the 500 electric vehicle drivers polled, said they are “glad” they made the switch, as 76% believe EVs are the future.

However, 91% admitted that some elements of driving an EV have taken some getting used to – with four in five saying they were initially put off, as they believed battery-powered engines weren't capable of making long journeys.

But after driving one, nearly half (43%) reckon electric engines will replace petrol or diesel motors by 2030, as per the government's aims.

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The research was commissioned by car-sharing firm, Zipcar UK, to mark the company hitting 1,000 electric vehicles in its fleet – a key milestone in its vision to be fully electric by 2025.

Three in ten electric vehicle drivers say they are 'glad' they made the switchBut nine in ten say driving an electric vehicle has taken some getting used to (Zipcar UK)

James Taylor, general manager at the brand, said: “Electric cars are fun to drive, but as with anything new they can take some getting used to.

“That being said, this research shows that the public are keen to try and find out more about electric cars – and our numbers back this up too, with over 130,000 members having driven one of our EVs.

“There are a lot of myths about running out of battery too early, taking too long to charge up, and how fast they can go – but it’s reassuring to see people who drive them love them, and see them being a big part of the future.”

The research also found those surveyed know an average of four others who drive an electric vehicle – with eight in ten of those having a positive experience.

And 76% believe making the switch from a combustion engine is one of the best ways you can help the environment – although 73% feel they are too expensive to buy outright.

In a separate poll, of 2,000 people who have never driven an EV, half would feel confident driving one, even though they haven’t before – and 48% of those who don't feel confident would still love the chance to trial one.

TV personality, Sam Thompson, who recently trialled one of Zipcar UK’s EVs for the first time, said: “Driving an electric car is something I’ve been wanting to try for a while, but I was quite apprehensive about it – so having the opportunity to trial one through Zipcar was a great way to give it a go.

“While it took a minute to get used to the silence of the electric engine and the power behind the wheel, I loved how smooth it felt on the road, and I couldn’t help but get excited by it all – I felt like a kid again.”

The research also found 38% of non-EV drivers want more information about the range they can travel, and 49% want to get used to driving a battery-powered car because they are the future.

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But 44% don’t believe the battery lasts as long as they like, according to the figures by OnePoll.

Andrew Young

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