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Is it time to go electric?

Electric cars are growing in popularity, so we asked you for your questions and concerns.

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By Cazoo editorial team

Electric cars have never been so popular, but there are still plenty of people who aren’t sure if they’re ready to make the switch. 

We wanted to find out more about what UK car buyers really think, so we asked more than 2,000 drivers what they thought about  'going electric'. We asked them about the core issues of battery range and charging but also about how much they thought it would cost to buy and run an electric car.

Here's what they had to say...

87% of people underestimate how far they can drive on a fully charged electric car

The answers show that 63% of respondents had ‘range anxiety’ – the fear that they wouldn’t be able to drive far enough before needing to recharge their car’s battery. But 87% underestimated how far they could drive on a fully charged electric car. Around a quarter of people thought used electric cars had a battery range of less than 100 miles. Nearly half of the respondents thought it was below 150 miles and almost three quarters thought they’d run out of charge before 200 miles. The average guess was 162.46 miles.

Just under half of those questioned (49.2%) said a range of between 150 and 300 miles would be acceptable, while a quarter said they’d be happy with a range of less than 150 miles.

The good news is that Department for Transport statistics show that the average car journey is just 8.4 miles, meaning that even with smaller battery capacities, you’ll be able to fit in several trips before having to top up. On top of that, battery technology is developing very quickly. There are now electric cars on the market that promise more than 400 miles from a full battery, such as the Mercedes-Benz EQS and the smaller EQE.

Other options can do more than 300 miles, including the Tesla Model 3 (360 miles), the Volkswagen ID.3 (336 miles) and the Hyundai Kona (300 miles). There’s also a long list of cars that will easily top 200 miles on a full charge. These include the Kia e-Niro (282 miles), the Nissan Leaf (239 miles) and the Renault Zoe (238 miles).

61% of respondents don’t know where their nearest public charger is

Charging your electric car is different to filling up at a petrol station, and many respondents were concerned about where they’d top up the battery: 61% said they didn't know the location of their nearest public charger.

While public chargers aren’t as common as petrol and diesel pumps, more and more places to charge your car battery are popping up. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the number of public chargers rose by 82% between 2019 and 2021, although the number of electric cars rose by 600% during the same period.

However, bearing in mind the average length (8.4 miles) of car journeys, many people would be able to go for some time between charges. And those with off-road parking at home could consider a home charger to keep their battery full.

53% of people thought charging an electric car would cost more than it actually does

Aside from the environmental benefits, a major attraction of electric motoring is its low running cost. While the cars can be more expensive to buy than petrol or diesel models, powering them is usually much more affordable. However, respondents to the Cazoo survey weren’t clear how much it would actually cost to charge an electric car, with more than half (53%) suggesting it would be more than £20.

The cost will vary depending on where and when you charge, and public charging will cost more than topping up overnight at home using an off-peak electricity tariff. But calculations by charging provider Pod Point suggests that the average cost of a full charge at home was just £15.10.

And the cost of the cars? Well, it’s true that in general, electric cars usually cost more to buy, but perhaps not as much as you might think. Check out the high-quality electric cars for sale at Cazoo and you might be pleasantly surprised.

You can also get a new or used electric car with a Cazoo subscription. For a flat monthly payment you get a new car, insurance, maintenance, servicing and tax included.

We're constantly updating and adding to our stock. If you’re looking to buy a used car and can't find the right one today, it’s easy to set up a stock alert to be the first to know when we have cars that match your needs.

The research was conducted by Censuswide, among a sample of 2,026 UK Consumers who do not own, finance or subscribe to an electric vehicle. The data was collected between 14.03.2022 – 18.03.2022. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society and follows the MRS code of conduct which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

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