T+E Forum hears how EV transition would speed up with better customer education

With this year’s Transport+Energy Forum event focussing on accelerating the transition to a decarbonised future, a panel of EV experts have explained how simply better educating drivers will increase people’s appetite for EVs.

“The key is helping to take people with us,” said AA President Edmund King. “Members are not hostile to EVs, but they are hesitant, so it’s the role of the AA to take people through the transition.”

He said it’s about challenging when things are wrong and also ensuring that, when people have an occasional bad experience, it takes time to get around that so they need to understand the good things about EVs.

The panel, which included Hannah Fairley from Fastned, Stephen Trayner of SWARCO and Craig Hibbert from EV Civils Solutions heard how existing EV drivers often still don’t know enough about their vehicles’ capabilities with Stephen Trayner saying education is absolutely paramount . “The majority of the queries we hear is “how”,” he said, “The lack of education someone has from buying an EV to going to their first charge point is crazy.”

Hannah Fairley explained that the actual experience of driving on the network is much better than people who don’t have an EV think it is, so agreed education is vital but added: “Charging needs to be simpler. The simpler it can get, the better. Using data, analytics and feedback to make it better.”

“The voice in our echo chamber is extremely loud, but it’s getting out of rooms like this to the wider world,” said Craig Hibbert. “If the second hand EV market is getting better, then the education has to be reaching younger people.”

“We are all learning – no one knows all the answers,” Edmund King concluded. “When you go into a showroom, you are not told all about how the vehicle works.  Even on my EV that I’ve had for three years, I still am learning new things about my car. We need the manufacturers to tell us more about what their cars do.”

(Picture – Alec Peachey, T+E owner and panel session host, with L-R Craig, Stephen, Hannah, Edmund)

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