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Electric car sales hit by high energy bills, survey reveals

Zevenaar, The Netherlands - September 10, 2015: Black Tesla Model S electric car at a Tesla supercharger charging station. Superchargers are free connectors that charge Model S in minutes. Superchargers are used for long distance travel, located along the most popular routes in North America, Europe and Asia.
The dramatic rise in the price of electricity is having a detrimental effect on the sale of electric car.

New research from the AA has found that more than 70% of drivers have been put off owning an electric car because of increases in energy prices.

The survey of more than 12,500 motorists found that rising energy bills were the main reason stopping these drivers from making the switch to an electric vehicle (EV).

In September 2022, the AA poll asked 12,545 drivers, "have increases in domestic energy prices put you off buying an EV?"

In a statement about the survey results that were released on Tuesday, the AA said: "More than 70% of drivers, who will eventually have to switch to zero-emission vehicles after the 2030 sales ban on new fossil-fuelled cars, have been so shocked by the surge in electricity prices that it has tainted their view of EVs."

The president of the AA, Edmund King, said he believed that the cost-of-living crisis was the main factor in making drivers hesitant towards considering electric cars.

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In a speech planned for the Highways UK conference in Birmingham on Wednesday 2 November, he is expected to say: "There are almost half a million full EVs on the roads in the UK with more models coming to market each month. However, the cost of living and higher electricity costs are deterring almost three-quarters of drivers from making the switch now.

“For some drivers, it is a big psychological and practical leap from tried and trusted petrol or diesel cars to full electric models.

"However, after making that leap drivers will not go back, and the switch ultimately will lead to lower running costs and less damage to the environment.

"The AA is here to help drivers make that switch from learning to drive in EVs, through fixing, repairing, leasing, and servicing EVs.”

The research conducted by the AA also highlighted that the UK’s 11.4 million diesel car owners have been rocked by steadily rising average pump prices.

The British motoring association added that in the long term, electric cars could be cheaper to run than their petrol and diesel equivalents because of home charging and lower servicing costs.

Britain is particularly exposed to the current energy crisis caused by supply chain difficulties resulting from prolonged pandemic lockdowns and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

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Referring to the cost of living crisis and the surge in energy prices affecting electric vehicle sales in the UK, Sue Davies, Which? Head of Consumer Protection Policy, said: “Many consumers want to make the switch to electric vehicles, but the cost of living crisis and rising energy bills are adding huge pressure to household budgets.

"Which? found that the upfront cost of buying an EV is a major barrier preventing drivers from considering one, and rising running costs could further prevent people from making the switch.

"However, our research shows that for people who can charge at home, electric cars are cheaper to run than petrol and diesel equivalents."

"This won't be an option for everyone, so it's important that governments work with industry to develop and support solutions to enable people without off-street parking to charge at a comparable rate to home charging."

The cost of energy increases come after BP (BP.L) saw its profits more than doubled in the third quarter to $8.2bn (£7.1bn).

The profit increase was driven by record-high energy prices, and BP expanded its share buybacks by $2.5bn.

The FTSE-listed (^FTSE) company reported that its underlying replacement cost profits surged to $8.2bn for the quarter to September, compared with $3.3bn a year earlier.

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