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Over 55s reluctant to join electric vehicle revolution, KPMG survey finds

Over 55s reluctant to join electric vehicle revolution

New research by professional services firm KPMG has found that the public’s reluctance towards electric vehicles is mainly an issue for the over 55s.


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New research by professional services firm KPMG has found that the public’s reluctance towards electric vehicles is mainly an issue for the over 55s. The survey found that when considering the purchase of an electric car, range anxiety (which is the distance the car can travel on one charge) was the top concern for 75% of people over the age of 55. However, less than half (40%) of those surveyed between the ages of 18-34 shared the same worry.

Justin Benson, Director and Head of Automotive at KPMG UK, said: “I don’t think there will be range anxiety in the future, especially given that 85% of all journeys made in Britain are less than 15 miles. There’s clearly a massive generational shift taking place. Millennials and Generation Z are moving towards electric vehicles and the over 55s appear to be reluctant to do the same quite so quickly.

“Young people are typically more open to trying new things and there’s an element of expecting to have almost anything within a very short time span, if not instantly at the touch of a button. This explains why those aged 18-34 were more concerned with the time it takes to charge, than how far one charge would take them.”

Whilst nationally, 3 in 5 care more about their vehicle emissions now, than they did five years ago, regionally, Londoners were the most environmentally conscious at 72%. Half of the people in the East of England, however, felt less concerned about their car’s carbon footprint, with just 50% caring more. Interestingly, when looking at the most important considerations when buying a new vehicle, emissions and environmental impact only ranked fifth. Running costs were cited as the top priority, followed by purchase price, fuel/energy consumption and driving experience.

Charlie Simpson, Partner and Head of Mobility 2030, added: “Increasingly, cost per month is the overriding factor that determines whether or not someone signs on the dotted line for a new car. In the medium term, electric vehicles will be cheaper overall to run with a much lower carbon footprint, so they will be better for consumers’ pockets and the environment, but we are not quite there yet. Electric vehicles are now starting to take off in a meaningful way and what will matter is the overall customer experience, with short term barriers such as range anxiety falling away.”

Unsurprisingly, having the ability to charge at home was cited as the most important need by over half (53%) of consumers when considering whether to purchase an electric vehicle.
Justin Benson concluded: “Whilst the availability of charge points is on the rise, the concern around being able to charge at home is valid as it’s limited to those who have access to a driveway. That being said, there are now more public charge points than petrol stations across the UK and many consumers are also planning their journeys differently.

“So, if carmakers continue to increase the driving range and reduce the purchase price of electric vehicles, then I expect that we’ll see half a million electric vehicles sold and driving on UK roads within the next five years.”


1 Research conducted by Opinium among 2001 adults between 4th and 9th September 2019

*Electric vehicles = battery electric vehicles

For media enquiries, please contact:

Jo Chileshe, KPMG Corporate Communications
M: Tel: +44 (0)7919 211 803

About KPMG in the UK

KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 16,300 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a revenue of £2.338 billion in the year ended 30 September 2018. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 154 countries and has 200,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.

© 2021 KPMG LLP a UK limited liability partnership and a member firm of the KPMG global organisation of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. All rights reserved.

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