The UK’s driving population has veered towards increased environmental consciousness, with 76% of the population admitting that they are aware of the environmental impacts of driving. However, only two fifths of UK drivers saying that they are planning on buying an environmentally friendly vehicle for their next car, with price being the main limiting factor.
The recent survey by RingGo
uncovered how Brits may like to talk a big game when it comes to being more considerate of the environment, but voices seem to fall silent when it comes to turning consciousness into action. Which brings up the question, how prepared we are for the proposed phase-out of fossil fuel vehicles by 2035?
Additional hesitancies to make the leap highlight the need for greater knowledge about the capabilities and benefits of electric vehicles. The study found that almost a third (32%) of drivers who are open to EVs require a greater availability of charging points to make the switch, whilst one in five (20%) of those currently not considering an EV would consider buying one if their range were greater.
Peter O’Driscoll, managing director at RingGo, said: “Overall this research highlights that more needs to be done by businesses, special interest groups and local communities to convert consciousness into action. The pandemic has seen a wave of strong activism and more conversations around sustainability, which has driven the nation to re-evaluate mobility solutions. However, this alone will not drive the widespread change needed to really make an impact on the environment, and this challenge cannot be put on the shoulders of motorists alone.”
“More is needed from businesses and operators to expand the understanding of what EVs can offer drivers, how far they can really go and the ever-growing availability of charging points. We also need to ensure people know about the financial benefits - the BIK scheme and emissions based parking are just the start. With this knowledge and mounting incentives, motorists will be able to make informed decisions about their next car or how they take their next journey.”
Urgency to change behaviours
Global initiatives to raise awareness of pollution and global warming over the recent months appear to have impacted the considerations of UK drivers, with just under half (42%) believing driving is the most polluting form of transport. But despite this knowledge and the push for more eco-conscious behaviour, only 38% say that the environmental impact of driving affects the amount of driving that they do. This demonstrates how difficult it is to change ingrained behaviours, despite many becoming even more appreciative of cleaner air and healthier environments in recent months.
With only just over a decade to go until the proposed phase-out of fossil fuel vehicles is expected to be finalised, after being expedited from 2040 to 2035 by the UK’s Tory Party, this alarming insight should urge the government and automotive industry to take action to get all UK drivers on board.
The pandemic has also highlighted concerns from UK drivers when it comes to e-mobility, particularly in metropolitan areas. RingGo found that more than half of drivers agree that they would like to choose more environmentally friendly methods of transport when travelling, but feel safer in their standard car, with the majority of drivers in agreeance residing in London (63%).