Car buyers not interested in electric models, research finds

Only one per cent of people who are considering buying a car would opt for an electric model, according to new research.

For car dealers – whether a one-person operation or a large outlet – understanding what vehicles customers want to buy is vital. This will help inform the stock they choose to take on, which in turn will dictate the level of road risks insurance they should get to ensure they are covered when driving particular types or sizes of cars.

The survey by PwC found that environmental concerns are low among car buyers, with just one per cent interested in buying an electric car and only 13 per cent saying they would buy a hybrid. Furthermore, only 15 per cent said they would consider driving less and 63 per cent stated they would not be avoiding larger vehicles that consume more fuel.

More important to car buyers was that vehicles were cost-effective, with 80 per cent saying they thought manufacturers should make this their priority.

For cars to be more cost-effective they are required to use less fuel, which would therefore make them more environmentally friendly. But for motorists the emphasis seems to be on the associated costs rather than environmental damage.

Phil Harrold, partner in the automotive practice at PwC, commented: “Customers expect manufacturers to shoulder the burden of ensuring their next car has minimal impact on the environment, but they remain less likely to opt for hybrids or electric cars themselves.

“The demands and preferences of the drivers clearly highlight the dilemma faced by car manufacturers. Customers are conservative when it comes to their choice of car, yet expect innovation from manufacturers to help protect the climate. The challenge facing manufacturers is to change the primary concern in buyers' minds from cost to conservation."