Almost half of expert respondents to a new survey said they expected their next car to be battery operated (BEV) or plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicle.
The results of the survey carried out for the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) were announced at the organisation’s conference on Wednesday in London. Those surveyed were all members or associates of LowCVP.
Some 14% of those surveyed – of the 303 strong poll – already drove a hybrid or battery electric vehicle. The majority of respondents thought that in 20 years or more they would be driving a hydrogen powered vehicle.
The survey also found that 84% thought the uptake of low carbon vehicles would be greatest in city areas while only 14% thought that uptake would be similar in rural areas.
Most of those surveyed drove a petrol or diesel car and over 75% expected these to be in the majority with hybrid versions taking an increasing share.
LowCVP md Andy Eastlake said: “The survey results show that the LowCVP’s project and programme activities are focusing on the right areas, but that there is still a great deal of work to do.
“It also shows that there are a wide range of technologies which expert stakeholders think could play a part in the future. It’s important, I think, that policy focuses on cutting carbon and remains as ‘technology neutral’ as possible, to allow this variety to thrive.â€?
The ‘Energy for Future Transport’ survey was undertaken by market research agency Turquoise Thinking. It also asked respondents whether they were aware of the Formula E Championship – the world’s first fully electric racing series.
Some 91% were aware of the championship and 69% thought its presence will have a positive impact on the use of low carbon cars in the UK.
President of the motoring organization, the AA, Edmund King also spoke at the LowCVP conference and he argued that second cars should be targeted to switch to electric.
Mr King said that 74% of AA members park their cars overnight off the road and on their own land where potentially they could be charging. Half of respondents in a recent AA survey of 18,688 had access to two cars and second cars are less likely to be used for long journeys.
He added: “The route to introducing an alternative fuel has always been via fleet and business cars, the rationale being that these would start to change opinion by finding their way into the second-hand market or convincing business drivers to extend these new fuels into private use.
“Electric vehicle range anxiety demands a different approach. We must look where EVs might work, instead of trying to shoehorn them into travel patterns for which they are currently not best suited.