Time to re-charge? Government incentives not enough as only a third of drivers consider switching to an electric car

Three fifths of drivers believe the UK is behind the rest of the world when it comes to environmental policy
Only a third are considering buying an electric vehicle in the next five years
Three in four are not aware of current government incentives 
LV= General Insurance is calling on the Government to increase incentives to encourage British drivers to buy an electric vehicle 

Drivers in the UK want to see the Government take more action1 to encourage electric vehicle uptake, as new research2 from LV= General Insurance (LV= GI) reveals only a third (35%) of drivers are considering making the switch in the next five years but three quarters (75%) are not aware of current government incentives. 

Despite a proposed deadline of 2035 for the ban on petrol and diesel car sales, only two in five (39%) drivers think the country will meet this deadline and a further three in five (61%) believe the UK is behind the rest of the world when it comes to environmental policy.


Electric vehicle appetite

Covid-19 has heightened people’s attitudes towards looking after the planet, with two in five (40%) saying they have become more environmentally conscious during the pandemic. Only a third (35%) of drivers are now considering buying an electric vehicle in the next five years, even though this figure has increased from 27% last year. 

Although there is a growing appetite amongst drivers to make the switch to electric, there are barriers preventing drivers from doing so, with 59% of drivers saying they wouldn’t consider buying one. 

Barriers to going electric

The top three barriers to buying an electric vehicle have remained the same over the last year, with lack of charging points currently the top reason for not buying one (52%). Range anxiety, becoming stranded (48%) and the cost  (45%) are other top reasons. 

71% of drivers say a government subsidy for buying an electric vehicle would encourage them to buy one. Currently the maximum grant available from the Government for electric vehicles is £3,0003, but three in four (75%) said they are not aware of the current government incentives, proving more work is needed from the Government to communicate these initiatives, to ensure more people take advantage of the scheme. 

A further 70% say they would be encouraged to buy an electric car if there was an increased number of charging points available in car parks, 69% would be persuaded by government subsidies for running costs, and 61% by different VAT rates for EVs. 

Drivers are also not opposed to more measures being put in place to help move the green agenda forward, with 41% thinking dedicated green parking spaces for electric vehicle use are a good idea. Additionally, 39% of drivers think city centres should be zero-emission in the next 10 years, following the success of the York clean air zone4 and London’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). 

Tom Clarke, Head of Electric Vehicle Strategy at LV= GI says:

“Whilst it’s encouraging the number of drivers considering a switch to electric has increased over the last year, it is clear more work needs to be done to meet the Government’s ambition of a 2035 deadline, which could be brought forward to 2032. 

“We’re calling on the Government to follow France and Germany’s recent electric vehicle announcements and provide more fiscal incentives and nudges for electric vehicles to drive uptake. Based on our research, we support the motion to introduce different VAT rates for EVs, an initiative which has been suggested by the Behavioural Insights Team and Transport Research Laboratory in their report for Department for Transport. 

“Our bespoke electric vehicle insurance policy offers on the road charging when needed and cover for damages to the charger and charging cable, providing more of peace of mind to electric car owners and drivers considering buying an electric car.”

In April 2019, LV= GI launched the UK’s first car insurance product developed solely for electric vehicles. The product provides tailored cover to meet the specific needs of electric car owners and includes cover for home charging cables and wall boxes, the supply of electric or hybrid courtesy cars and access to a network of specialist electric car repairers across the country. In September 2020, a new service was added to the product, offering roadside charging for electric vehicles that run out of charge.


1 71% of drivers said that they would be encouraged to buy an electric vehicle if the Government offered subsidies
69% of drivers said that they would be encouraged to buy an EV if the Government offered subsidies for running costs 
61% of drivers said they would be encouraged to buy an EV if different VAT rates were offered

2Research conducted by Opinium on 2,000 UK adults (18th – 21st September), additional boosts conducted in specific regions to reach 1,601 non-EV drivers (18th – 28th September) 


4 York has rolled out the first voluntary clean air zone in the country

Table shows % of drivers who don’t currently have an Electric Vehicle 

Regions most likely to buy an electric vehicle

Regions least likely to buy an electric vehicle

London (70%)

Wales (23%)

North- East (51%)

East of England (27%)

Yorkshire and Humberside (40%)

Scotland (28%)

West Midlands (39%)

East Midlands (29%)

North West (38%)

South West (30%)

South East (38%)

Northern Ireland (37%)


Cities most likely to buy an electric vehicle

Cities least likely to buy an electric vehicle

London (48%)

Plymouth (18%)

Newcastle (48%)

Southampton (24%)

Brighton (42%)

Norwich (24%)

Bristol (42%)

Cardiff (24%)

Birmingham (38%)

Edinburgh (26%)

Manchester (38%)

Nottingham (28%)

Leeds (38%)

Glasgow (32%)

Belfast (37%)

Sheffield (32%)

Liverpool (36%)





For further information

Kaidee Horton
Head of Corporate Communications (General Insurance)
07738 274 568

About Liverpool Victoria General Insurance 

LV= General Insurance provides car, home, pet, travel, landlord breakdown and home emergency insurance to over 7 million customers in the UK.
We’re the UK’s third largest personal lines insurer with just over £2 billion in annual premium income.
We offer our products and services directly to consumers as well as through intermediaries, including brokers, affinity partners and IFAs. 
LV= General Insurance uses the LV= brand under licence from the Liverpool Victoria Financial Services Group.
We are part of the Allianz Group, one of the world's leading insurers and asset managers with more than 92 million retail and corporate customers. 
The LV= General Insurance newsroom includes links to our news release archive and image library.
 Our About Us page for an introduction to what we do and how we do it
Follow us on twitter: https://twitter.com/lv  
Follow us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/lv 
Follow us on Facebook: https://facebook.com/lv