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METRO: Business briefing: Drivers feel empowered to switch to electric cars

SEVEN out of ten Britons plan to buy an electric car when they trade in their current vehicle, a survey shows.

Cheaper fuel costs and being seen to do more to clean up the planet are major motivating factors, found Shell Energy.

Another is the phasing out of petrol and diesel cars — after the government revealed sales of new ones will be ended in 2035, five years earlier than planned.

Colin Crooks, the chief executive of Shell Energy, said: ‘We support the need for the UK to move faster to meet climate targets and research shows there is public support for the earlier ban on traditional car sales.’

But despite motorists’ good intentions, many have been put off making the switch because they are wary of the new technology. The poll found 80 per cent of drivers yet to go electric were worried about the cost of buying a vehicle, while 59 per cent had concerns about long charging times.

Nearly four in ten (38 per cent) fear they won’t know how to charge the car — and nine per cent wrongly believe that the vehicles are powered by AA batteries.

Mr Crooks said: ‘There is a lack of understanding, particularly around how the cars are charged and also about the potential impact owning one will have energy bills.’

To combat fears, Shell has announced it will offer 2,000 free miles to new electric car owners.

The energy giant is also running a scheme to install a smart charger at buyers’ homes for £299, that will use 100 per cent renewable energy.


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