UK willing to pay more for electric carsSurvey revealed as Nissan adds £2k to Leaf price

14 March 2011

Electric car with plug attachment

UK motorists are more willing to pay a premium for electric cars

A new survey has found that UK drivers are more willing to pay a premium for electric car technology than drivers in other European countries. The news comes as Nissan raises the price of its Leaf electric car by £1,990.

The study, conducted by global manufacturing group Deloitte, surveyed a total of 4,760 Europeans from 11 different countries and found that only 16% would be among the ‘potential first movers’ to switch from conventional cars to electric vehicles (EVs).

However, UK drivers who were identified in the 16% of potential first movers said they were much more willing to pay a premium for electric cars compared to potential first movers from other countries.

Read our guide to electric cars here

31% not likely to consider an electric car

Electric car being charged

Charging time, range and purchase costs are limiting electric car uptake

Out of all the individuals surveyed, 53% said they ‘might be willing to consider’ buying an electric car, and the remaining 31% said they are ‘not likely to consider’ an EV.

Craig Giffi, Global Automotive Sector Leader for Deloitte, said there are a variety of factors limiting the uptake of electric cars, and at this moment in time range, charging duration and electric car price is restricting the market.

He said: “Mass adoption of electric vehicles will be significantly influenced by a number of factors, including rising fuel prices, advancements in internal combustion engine vehicles, and the availability of government incentives.

“Whilst interest in battery electric vehicles is growing, with 69% of European respondents having identified themselves as either potential first movers or willing to consider an EV today, current market offerings generally fall short of consumers’ expectations for driving range, charging time, and purchase price. As a result, we estimate only 1-2% of these consumers will actually adopt battery electric vehicles by 2020.”

The survey not only highlighted the current limitations of electric cars, but also the expectations of consumers if they were to switch to EVs.

More than two thirds said the maximum full charge time they’d accept would be two hours, and three-quarters would want a minimum range of 300 miles.

Read more about eco cars here or join our Which? Conversation about the price of electric cars

Nissan Leaf price increase and production halt

Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf price has risen to £25,990 from £24,000

With the price of electric cars being highlighted as a detrimental factor in the take-up of EVs, the news that Nissan has increased the price of the Leaf by £2,000 reflects the premium currently attached to electric cars.

The price increase began on 1 March, due to the depreciation of the pound against the yen.

The price has now risen to £25,990 after the £5k Government Plug-in Car Grant. However, orders placed before 1 March will be honoured at the original £24,000 price.

Nissan has also announced that as a consequence of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan on Friday, production at all its factories remains halted until it has fully assessed the damage sustained to factories, equipment and parts suppliers.

Nissan isn’t alone: both Honda and Toyota have also suspended operations temporarily due to Friday’s tragic events.

Read our first drive report for the Nissan Leaf or find out more about the Government Plug-in Car Grant


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