Survey: Satisfaction levels amongst UK’s EV drivers are high

Satisfaction levels amongst the UK’s electric vehicle (EV) drivers are overwhelmingly high with lower cost the biggest motivating factor, according to a survey carried out by Zenith.

The major new survey by the leading independent leasing, fleet management and vehicle outsourcing business found that satisfaction levels amongst EV drivers are much higher than their diesel or petrol counterparts 

The company has today (2 March) launched the Zenith EVXperience (EVX) Report: the largest ever survey of UK electric vehicle (EV) drivers looking at their actual lived experience of driving an EV.

The EVX report, which surveyed over 3,100 of Zenith’s EV customers, found that EV drivers are overwhelmingly satisfied with their experience across six Key Experience Indicators (KEIs).

Equivalent questions were also asked to a separate sample of petrol and diesel drivers – revealing that EV drivers are much more satisfied with their driving experience than petrol or diesel drivers across every KEI. Overall, the satisfaction level amongst all KEIs for EV drivers came to a ‘highly satisfied’ 8.4/10, compared to 7.0/10 for petrol and diesel drivers.

The most significant differences come down to cost, with EV drivers rating the cost of running their vehicle 8.5/10, compared to 5.8/10 for petrol or diesel drivers.

KEIEV driversPetrol/Diesel drivers
Driving experience9.37.7
Safety and reliability9.17.7
Experience of charging8.16.9
Cost of running8.55.8
Vehicle’s mobile app (for EV); Your car’s navigation system (for petrol/diesel)7.76.5
EVX Index (average)8.4/107.0/10

Indeed, the vast majority (86%) of drivers would still opt for an EV over a petrol or diesel vehicle if they had to make the decision again.

Whilst environmental motivations often dominate the headlines for encouraging EV uptake, the survey revealed that cost savings are actually the biggest motivating factor for EV drivers. 

Almost half (47%) of company car drivers and almost a third (31%) of salary sacrifice drivers said that cost savings were the best thing about the EV experience, citing the government’s support of Benefit-in-Kind tax (BiK) as the number one point.

For those with a personal lease vehicle, 30% said that low running costs were the best thing about the experience.

Environmental benefits instead came in as the second most common response, with 23% of company car, 25% of salary sacrifice drivers and 27% of personal lease drivers citing it as the number one best thing. 

Concerns about the UK’s charging infrastructure and range anxiety are often discussed as common irritations for EV drivers. However, the survey revealed that the majority of EV drivers take shorter journeys, likely on a single charge, with just 15% of drivers mainly using their EV for longer trips (over 60 miles).

When asked to rank the number one worst thing about the EV experience, the most popular response was limited range, with just over a fifth (22%) of respondents citing it. A similar number (21%) ranked the need to plan for where to charge away from home, and 21% pointed to an unreliable charging network as the worst point.   

Almost a quarter (24%) found charging availability worse than expected, but 45% found it as expected and almost a third (31%) better than expected.

Despite concerns about the cost of public charging, the majority (61%) of drivers choose to primarily charge off-street at home, with just 9% primarily using the public charging network as their main energy source. 

Positively, EV drivers are optimistic about the development of the charging network, with 86% of those polled confident that EV infrastructure will improve over the next three years.

Tim Buchan, CEO, Zenith said: “Whilst we all know about the perceived benefits of going electric, very little research has been done to date on the actual experience of driving an EV. That’s why we wanted to launch the EVXperience report; so that we can understand the issues faced by EV drivers and make changes to support them. 

“What this has really driven home to me is how much people enjoy electric vehicles when they make the switch. It’s no surprise that take-up in the UK has reached unprecedented levels over the past few years. The Government deserves credit for helping nurture this demand, but I see a real danger if this is allowed to falter. The lower costs associated with EVs is the overwhelming factor for switching from petrol or diesel that EV drivers single out. Now is the time to ensure that even more drivers recognise EVs as an affordable option.

“For instance, the report suggests that the early adopters of EVs are skewed towards homeowners who can charge their vehicles in their driveways. As this balance shifts to include those in flats or with parking on the street, the need for convenient and cost-effective charging will increase.

“We are calling on Government to remove VAT on public charging points which are already more expensive and we’re doing our bit at Zenith by increasing the number of subsidised charging points at our offices to help make a real difference for our employees and their families, regardless of their home ownership situation.”

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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