What EVS need to do
Vital targets to go mainstream
Mainstream EV adoption will occur when a typical electric car costs £27,000, can achieve a real-world range of around 290 miles and can be fully recharged in just half an hour, according to a new global survey by Castrol and parent company BP.
It has long been believed that the tipping point for the mass adoption of electric cars globally will arrive only when there are significant improvements to charging times and range, as well as reductions to the showroom cost of long-range EVS.
Castrol says it commissioned a market research company to interview 10,000 consumers and fleet managers in eight countries (China, India, the US, the UK, France, Germany, Norway and Japan).
The survey found that the average global car buyer will not consider purchasing an EV before 2024, with German, UK and US buyers estimating that they will not be personally interested until 2025.
The car buyers surveyed have an even less encouraging view of when EVS will become the mainstream choice. The average estimated date across the eight countries was 2030, but British and Japanese motorists predicted that it would be 2033.
It is probably the huge government support and centralised planning for EVS that has convinced Chinese buyers that EVS will become mainstream in 2027. Globally, 71% of fleet managers expect most of their purchases to be electric by 2030.
The survey outlined five considerations to buying an EV – price, charge time, range, infrastructure and vehicle size/ type – and asked consumers and fleet managers to rank them in order of importance.
For consumers, price emerged as the biggest concern (38%) followed by charging time (28%) and range (20%). Although this may seem contradictory, if fast charging is easily accessed, ultimate range is not such an overriding issue.
All of the consumers globally saw the price of an EV as the number one concern, but it was UK motorists who took the hardest line on cost, with £22,500 the tipping point for buyer consideration. It was £28,500 in Germany and more than £31,000 in Japan.
Generations of drivers have got used to filling up a fossil-fuelled car in minutes and, thanks to the rise of diesel engines, getting 500- and 600mile ranges in that time. In light of that universal experience, the motorists surveyed by Castrol seem to be relatively accommodating when it comes to recharging an EV.
The global average desired recharging time was 31 minutes. Indian and Chinese buyers were the most patient (35 and 34 minutes) and French motorists (27 minutes) the least patient. UK consumers thought 30 minutes reasonable.
Even so, the survey revealed that people thought EVS would go mainstream only when they could be recharged as quickly as conventional combustion
Extensive analysis by the SMMT and consultants Frost & Sullivan also shows that a fully zero-emission-capable UK new car market will need 1.7 million public charge points by the end of the decade and 2.8 million by 2035.
Given there are only 19,314 on-street charge points today, the huge task requires 507 on-street chargers to be installed per day until 2035 at a cost of £16.7 billion.
For EVS to be mainstream, they’ll need far more range than a Honda E