Electric cars could plug-in £7bn to UK auto industry

The UK motor industry will get a £7.2bn boost from electric car sales over the next three years, according to a new study. The findings from analysts at GfK Automotiveshow […]

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By Kelvin Ross

The UK motor industry will get a £7.2bn boost from electric car sales over the next three years, according to a new study.

The findings from analysts at GfK Automotiveshow that by 2014, some 300,000 electric cars will hit Britain’s roads as consumers look for greener ways to travel.

This means thatoncurrent sales levels, electric cars would account forone-in-twenty of the total cars sold in the UK over the coming years.

The study shows that an additional 500,000 electric cars could be sold if consumers’ barriers to electric car purchase can be overcome.

Seven in ten motorists have so called ‘range anxiety’ – concerns over the distances electric cars can travel. The same proportion are concerned over the limited availability of charging points, while half have reservations over the length of time taken to charge the vehicles.

And although the government is committed to subsidising electric transport with its ‘Plug-in car grant’ – a £5,000 contribution towards an electric car – the message has not yet reached the public. Two-thirds of people admit to being put off by the cost of the vehicles.

Mark Durham of GfK Automotive said: “With so many people on the verge of going electric, the government, manufacturers and energy suppliers need to grasp the nettle and address peoples’ concerns.

“The government needs to better-communicate the plug-in car grant and the industry should address legitimate concerns over range anxiety. Doing both will spark a revolution, and give the British car industry a shot in the arm at a time when it is in need of some good news.”