More than 1.5 million households could switch to electric cars today

Electric car ownership is the right choice for at least 1.5 million UK households today, a new study by What Car? has claimed.

The figure refers to the number of multi-car homes with a sweet-spot combination of off-street parking for home-charging and at least one vehicle that never does more than 100 miles in a single journey.

What Car? approached 2,310 current electric vehicle owners and a further 23,500 non-EV owners to understand how they used their cars on an everyday basis.

This research found that 17% of multi-car households have at least one vehicle that never makes a journey of more than 100 miles.

Overlaying these numbers with the percentage that has a driveway for home-charging (88%), What Car? estimated that 1.56m households – of the 27m in the UK – could convert to a pure electric vehicle without any compromises today. Furthermore, this figure looks set to increase as charging infrastructure and electric vehicle range increases in future.

“Most drivers are aware of the drive towards electrification, but are uncertain whether the current cars and infrastructure can meet their needs,” Jim Holder, the Editorial Director of What Car? said. “The evidence here shows that a significant proportion of households could make the switch without any compromise, and start enjoying the benefits of EVs – including travelling with zero emissions in near-silence, enjoying significant cost-savings through the year, and the potential for being free from congestion or clean air zone charges.”

To further support the arguments for purchasing an electric car, a surprising two thirds of households that already have one, as well as a traditional petrol or diesel vehicle, said they now used the EV as their main vehicle.

Jim Holder added: “While it is clear there is more work to be done to make electric cars more affordable, and to increase charging and range capabilities so that more households can own them compromise-free, it is also evident that car manufacturers and infrastructure providers are further ahead than is widely recognised.”

For example, What Car?’s Real Range testing has measured 18 EVs with ranges from 57 miles to 259 miles. All but three of the 15 cars tested had a Real Range in excess of 100 miles.

Prices for new EVs with a range exceeding 100 miles start from around £18,000 when purchased with a separate battery lease, or £24,500 with the battery included. Most electric vehicles are leased, with typical monthly payments around £300, depending on the size of the deposit, according to What Car? Target Price Finance data.