12 Jul 2024
The voice of the independent garage sector

Drivers in ‘hybrid state of mind’ over EV revolution

UK motorists are in a hybrid state over the impending EV revolution according to Bridgestone, with 27% declaring that they will never purchase an EV car — up 5% in two years.

Bridgestone said a survey of nearly 2,000* drivers has revealed that over a quarter of motorists are still against switching to an EV, although 51% declared that they would be buying one in the next five years, up from 40% in 2023.

A lack of access to charging points (64%) remains the top concern, shortly followed by initial cost of purchase worries (63%).

A further 47% of motorists continue to express ‘range anxiety’ in Bridgestone’s latest in-depth questionnaire, which underlines the contrasting opinions that still exist around the technology.

Bridgestone said the findings would appear to tie in with similar studies, including a 2024 Which? report claiming that 68% of EV drivers were not happy with the UK’s charging network.

Queues

Meanwhile, a 2023 What Car? survey revealed that 42% of motorists would opt against an EV for cost reasons. And according to recent Department for Transport data, a further 27% of motorists believe that most public charging points have long queues.

Bridgestone said it remains committed to EVs and ICE models, with its ‘EV Ready’ tyre technology suited to all technologies.

The Bridgestone Turanza 6 features Enliten tyre technologies, which helps to optimise the performance of internal combustion engine models, hybrids and EVs.

This includes low rolling resistance to address range anxiety concerns and prolong battery life and excellent control to address EV-specific driving-related issues.

The products also incorporate a higher wear tolerance to combat tyre wear due to the increased weight and higher torque, and decreased noise for driver comfort owing to the near non-existent engine noise of EVs.

Forecasts

Bridgestone cited data from the SMMT showing the millionth battery electric vehicle (BEV) joined the roads in Britain in January 2024. The SMMT also forecasts that 414,000 new BEVs are expected to hit UK roads in 2024.

Bridgestone north region VP Andrea Manenti said that the survey results proved there was more work to be done before the EV revolution could really begin to motor.

“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.

“It requires a joined-up, clear strategy that all automotive groups and businesses can align with, with relevant investment where necessary. At Bridgestone, we’re fully charged towards an era of electrification, as part of our mission to continue to provide social and customer value as a sustainable solutions company towards 2050.”

*Research carried out online by Research Without Barriers (January 2024) comprising 2,000 UK car owners.