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17.7 million Brits would spend more on greener cars 08.10.07

Interest in green wheels is soaring as 17.7 million Brits are prepared to splash out almost £13 billion more on environmentally friendly vehicles, according to research just released by EDF Energy.

The figures released by EDF Energy highlight a growing desire among British motorists to reduce their carbon footprint. However, despite Brits’ willingness to splash the cash, the majority of drivers (83%) feel they don’t know enough about greener alternatives such as Electric Vehicles to be able to make the purchase. A staggering 84% of those surveyed couldn’t name a model of EV and 70% wouldn’t know where they would recharge one.

The revealing findings show just how little understanding British motorists have about eco driving, which is proving to be a major barrier to their green aspirations:

- unbelievably almost 600,000 Brits think an Electric Vehicle can be charged using a mobile phone charger

- a startling 17% are under the impression that Electric Vehicle s run on petrol

- 32% are unsure whether they would need to apply for a new licence

- 1 in 6 people worry that they would have to pay additional road tax in order to drive an EV

- 64% of motorists wouldn’t know where to purchase an electric vehicle.

Following on from this research, EDF Energy has joined forces with Elektromotive, manufacturers of recharging bays for Electric Vehicles. The partnership is committed to providing 250 Elektrobay recharging systems to local councils throughout the UK by 31 March, 2008. The resulting aim of the scheme is to make Electric Vehicles more user-friendly and help people reduce the impact their driving has on the environment. Councils that have committed to installing the charging posts include Sheffield Borough Council, Islington Borough Council, Camden Council and Lambeth Council.

Peter Thorn, Head of Innovation and Partnerships at EDF Energy says: ’As concern for the environment grows, motorists are no longer only interested in what their car looks like, or how fast it can go. The research shows that drivers are increasingly demanding transport options that don’t have such a detrimental effect on the world we live in.

’EDF Energy recognises the role Electric Vehicles can play in helping reduce the 85 million tonnes of CO2[3] our motor vehicles emit each year, which is why we’ve joined forces with Elektromotive to call on local councils to help make these vehicles a more viable alternative for motorists in the UK.’

With 75% of motorists polled saying they would like their local council to help them reduce their cars CO2 emissions, EDF Energy’s funding initiative is just one way councillors can respond to the needs of their residents.

Motoring expert and campaign ambassador, Vicki Butler Henderson comments: ’It’s surprising how little people know still about reducing their motoring carbon footprint.

’There are many ways in which to do this, including running an electric car. The variety of electric vehicles is ever growing and they produce just a fraction of CO2 emissions of the majority of motors on our roads.

If more motorists were more willing to make the switch, we’d see Elektrobay recharging units springing up throughout the country.’

Electric Driving – The Facts

Electric Vehicles are as close to being zero emission as possible (when recharged using energy from renewable energy technology). EVs charged with standard grid electricity still produce lower CO2 emissions than all other cars on the road.

There are currently 2 on-street public recharging points for EVs in London. Manufacturers of EVs include: Toyota Reva G-Wiz NICE mega city Sakura Maranello4 Smart

Benefits include:

- free parking in some city centres throughout the UK

- exemption from the London Congestion charge (worth up to nearly £2,000 a year)

- EVs are not subject to Vehicle Excise Duty

- lower tax liability

- low running costs

Calvey Taylor-Haw from Elektromotive says: ’Electric vehicles and plug-in Hybrids are without doubt the way forward. With suitable battery technology now available, Electric Vehicles will have a greater range, delivering a truly viable alternative to fossil fuelled cars. They are not only cheap to run but are quiet, clean and fun

Peter Shield

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