Nissan Leaf charging

Nissan Leaf charging: take up of EVs could be greater if there was better knowledge of grants available suggests the SPA Future Thinking research

Background to the research

SPA Future Thinking, the business intelligence research consultancy, has today revealed the findings of Automotive Trends 2015  (pdf), an independent study of the UK automotive sector.

The survey monitors the sentiments of over 1,200 consumers that either own (56%) or are intending to purchase (44%) a car.

NEW research from SPA Future Thinking (see panel) suggests that drivers are thinking more about electric cars for purchase but remain oblivious to grants that might help them make the purchase decision.

It’s against a background of industry figures that highlight electric vehicles sales have started strongly in 2015 following up on fourfold increases in sales of both electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in 2014.

According to the report, which uses market intelligence to determine future trends in the industry, two thirds (64%) of respondents said they would consider purchasing an electric or hybrid car in the future, or already own one.

Fuel economy and reduced running costs (56%) is the most persuading factor that would encourage motorists to buy an electric or hybrid car, followed by the vehicle’s purchase price (52%) and miles per full charge (44%).

Interestingly the first environmental reason given relates to impact on the environment at 27%; indicating that going green needs to be balanced against a host of factors including reliability, technology and crucially price.

However, over a third (37%) of respondents would not consider purchasing electric or hybrid vehicles, principally because of dissuading factors such as:

  • not enough charging points (42%)
  • the range of the car (36%) and
  • the infancy of the technology (31%).

Below is a table of the top five encouraging and discouraging factors for electric vehicle takeup:

Encouraging factors Discouraging factors
1 Fuel economy (running costs) 56% 1 Not enough charging points 42%
2 Purchase price 52% 2 Purchase price 37%
3 Miles per full charge 44% 3 Range (miles per charge) 36%
4 Reliability 43% 4 Speed of recharging 35%
5 Reassurance on battery life 39% 5 Limited distribution of recharging points 32%


The report also reveals an apparent lack of awareness around Government grants for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.