KPMG: ‘Range anxiety’ holding back Scotland’s electric vehicle revolution

More than half of Scottish car buyers are reluctant to go electric over fears about the distance a car can travel on one charge, according to new research from KPMG.

KPMG: 'Range anxiety' holding back Scotland's electric vehicle revolution

Jenny Stewart, KPMG’s head of infrastructure, government and healthcare in Scotland 

A total of 67% of motorists north of the border say ‘range anxiety’ is the biggest disadvantage holding them back from making the switch from petrol or diesel cars, while 62% say higher purchase prices are another significant disadvantage.

Meanwhile, despite climate change increasingly dominating the news agenda, only 26% of motorists questioned believe emissions and environmental impact are an important consideration when making a new vehicle purchase.

Jenny Stewart, KPMG’s head of infrastructure, government and healthcare in Scotland, said: “Our research highlights the need for the industry to do more to allay the fears of motorists. Improvements in electric vehicle range seems to have failed to reassure drivers, despite the fact that the average car journey in Scotland is only around five miles. In a climate of growing economic uncertainty, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that cost is also a significant factor for people considering making a new vehicle purchase.

“In the medium term, electric cars will be cheaper overall to run, with a far lower carbon footprint, so they will be better for consumers’ pockets and the environment, but we’re not quite there yet. Greater awareness and a more concerted effort to break down short-term barriers should result in long-term growth and success for the sector.”

Across the UK, the research highlighted a growing generational gap with 75% of over 55s concerned about issues including range anxiety, and less than half (40%) of those surveyed between the ages of 18-34, sharing the same worries.

Justin Benson, director and head of automotive at KPMG UK, added: “Millennials and Generation Z are moving towards electric vehicles and the over 55s appear to be reluctant to do the same quite so quickly. Young people are typically more open to trying new things and there’s an element of expecting to have almost anything within a very short time span, if not instantly at the touch of a button. This explains why those aged 18-34 were more concerned with the time it takes to charge, than how far one charge would take them.”

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