The Hybrid State of UK Motorists: A Nation Divided on the Electric Vehicle Revolution

A recent survey by Bridgestone has revealed a nation divided on the future of electric vehicles (EVs). While some UK motorists are eagerly anticipating the shift to greener transport, others remain staunchly opposed. According to the survey, 27% of drivers have declared that they will never purchase an EV, a figure that has risen by 5% over the past two years.

The survey, which canvassed opinions from 2,000 drivers, found that over a quarter of motorists are still resistant to switching to an EV. Despite this resistance, there is a growing interest in electric vehicles, with 51% of respondents stating that they plan to buy one within the next five years, up from 40% in 2023.

The Hybrid State of UK Motorists: A Nation Divided on the Electric Vehicle Revolution
The Hybrid State of UK Motorists: A Nation Divided on the Electric Vehicle Revolution
June 28, 2024

The primary concerns deterring motorists from making the switch include a lack of access to charging points (64%), the initial cost of purchase (63%), and ongoing 'range anxiety' (47%). These findings are echoed by a 2024 report from Which?, which revealed that 68% of EV drivers are dissatisfied with the UK’s charging network. Furthermore, a 2023 survey by WhatCar found that 42% of motorists cited cost as a major barrier to purchasing an EV. The Department for Transport data also highlights that 27% of drivers believe most public charging points have long queues.

Despite these challenges, Bridgestone remains committed to supporting the transition to electric vehicles. Their ‘EV Ready’ tyre technology is designed to meet the needs of both EVs and internal combustion engine (ICE) models. The Bridgestone Turanza 6, featuring Enliten tyre technologies, offers low rolling resistance to alleviate range anxiety, increased wear tolerance for the heavier and higher-torque EVs, and reduced noise for a more comfortable driving experience.

Andrea Manenti, Bridgestone North Region Vice President, acknowledges that more work is needed to change perceptions and increase the adoption of EVs. “We’re living in exciting and ever-changing times in the automotive world, of that there is no doubt,” he said. “There’s a huge shift towards a more sustainable and efficient way of travel, and it goes without saying that we’re fully committed to the adoption of electric vehicles. But we also recognise that there is still a lot of work required to change perceptions amongst motorists, which we can see through our results."

Manenti emphasises the need for a coordinated strategy involving all automotive groups and businesses, along with the necessary investments, to drive this change. Bridgestone's commitment to this cause is encapsulated in their E8 Commitment, a comprehensive strategy focusing on eight areas: Energy, Ecology, Efficiency, Extension, Economy, Emotion, Ease, and Empowerment.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reports that the millionth battery electric vehicle (BEV) joined British roads in January 2024, with projections for 414,000 new BEVs to hit UK roads by the end of the year. This milestone signifies significant progress, yet the survey results indicate that there is still a long road ahead before the electric vehicle revolution can truly take off.

The UK's journey towards electrification is marked by contrasting opinions and significant challenges. However, with continued commitment from companies like Bridgestone and a clear, unified strategy, the vision of a sustainable and efficient automotive future is within reach.

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