Quarter of households plan to buy electric or hybrid car in next five years

About one-in-four households plan to buy an electric car or plug-in hybrid in the next five years, according to new research.

But energy regulator Ofgem also found that more than a third of Britain’s roughly 27.8 million households said they were unlikely to get an electric vehicle during that period due to concerns over high costs.

Perceptions that the price is too high, batteries do not offer enough range between charges and the lack of on-street charging points near homes all played a significant part in the concerns on switching, the survey found.

EV charging points at Rugby services
Around one in four households said they would be buying an electric or hybrid plug-in car in the next five years. (Doug Peters / PA)

The report comes ahead of a new campaign by the regulator to coincide with the COP26 being held in Glasgow where global leaders will discuss green initiatives and greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

The Climate Change Committee anticipates that about 18 million battery and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will be on the road by the time the ban on the sale of new internal combustion vehicles is introduced in 2030.

But a report this week by the Public Accounts Committee said the 2030 target would be missed without urgent action to improve infrastructure.

Only 13 electric car models on sale in the UK currently cost less than £30,000, the committee found.

Ofgem said changes were needed because electric vehicle owners are more open to embracing changes in how they use their energy, including signing up for “time of use” tariffs to charge vehicles during off-peak periods.

The majority of consumers (three-quarters) recognised that electricity generation and transport, such as fossil fuel power stations and exhaust emissions, play a big part in contributing to climate change, the report added.

But the research found that only 60% identified that domestic heating, like gas boilers, play a major role.

The International Energy Agency said gas boilers should be banned from 2025 to achieve net-zero emissions by the middle of the century.

Jonathan Brearley, Ofgem’s chief executive, said: “As more consumers make the switch to electric vehicles in the next five years, Ofgem will be announcing millions of pounds of investment to create a more flexible energy system to support the electrification of vehicles, renewable generation and low carbon forms of heat.

“Securing the investment is only half of the answer. Climate change can only be tackled if consumers are engaged in the process. For this to happen the transition to a low carbon economy needs to be fair, inclusive and affordable.”