Millions of drivers lack confidence about charging electric cars – survey

Some 39% would not feel comfortable about knowing which chargepoint would be compatible with a particular EV, according to the poll.

An electric car being charged
An electric car being charged

Millions of drivers are uncertain about how to charge electric vehicles (EVs), a new survey suggests.

Some 39% would not feel comfortable about knowing which chargepoint would be compatible with a particular EV, according to the AA Driving School poll of more than 13,400 motorists.

The survey also indicated that 30% of drivers are not confident they could use a public chargepoint correctly without assistance, with 22% feeling that way about charging at home.

More than a quarter (27%) of respondents said they are not confident they could understand the range of an EV.

To use chargepoints, EV drivers need to know the maximum charge rate of their car and what type of plugs it can connect to.

AA Driving School said the outcome of its research shows more information on EVs should be included in the Highway Code, which contains advice and rules for people on Britain’s roads.

It expressed concern there is currently no dedicated advice on EVs in the code despite the sale of conventionally-fuelled new cars being prohibited in the UK from 2030.

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show plug-in vehicles accounted for more than one in six new cars registered in the UK last year.

AA Driving School interim managing director Mark Oakley said: “With the ban of new petrol and diesel cars just eight years away, the Highway Code should be updated to reflect the future direction of driving.

“EVs have been growing in popularity for years, and we are pleased to be introducing them to the AA Driving School from March, but it’s clear from our research that our instructors will need to play a key role in helping educate learner drivers about the technology and terminology around them.

“New drivers are still getting to grips with EVs and learning what’s best for them.

“We’re committed to playing our part in the early adoption of EVs for new pupils to learn in, but would call on the Government to improve the information and guidance publicly available.”

An update to the Highway Code on January 29 will include a reminder that EV charging cables can be a trip hazard on pavements.

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