Is the two-car family holding back the EV transition?

21 / 02 / 24  |  Group
Launched today, the second EVXperience Report
  • Second edition of the largest survey of UK electric vehicle (EV) drivers’ lived experience finds that over half still have a second petrol/diesel vehicle and 73% have no plan to go fully electric anytime soon.
  • Half (50%) of drivers mainly use their electric vehicles for short trips (up to 30 miles), with over a quarter (26%) not confident about taking longer journeys, citing unreliable public charging and range anxiety.

A family's choice

Customers are opting for larger, family-sized EV SUVs, such as Kia e-Niro, Audi E-tron, and Cupra Born but are not yet ready to lose their petrol or diesel vehicle.

Despite the increasing take-up of electric vehicles (EVs), families are still reluctant to rely on them for longer journeys, according to new research.

Launched today, the second EVXperience Report (EVX2), published by Zenith, the UK’s leading independent leasing company, found that over half (51%) of EV drivers surveyed said they still have a second vehicle which is petrol/diesel. The vast majority (73%) have no plans to get rid of these and go fully electric any time soon, suggesting the “two-car family” could be holding back the EV transition.

The survey, which polled nearly 2,800 of Zenith’s EV customers on their experience of driving an electric vehicle, showed that 50% of EV drivers mainly use their electric vehicles for short trips (up to 30 miles), while only 18% use them for longer trips (60 miles plus).

Over a quarter (26%) said they were not confident doing longer trips, with the most common reasons cited being unreliable public charging (36%) and range anxiety (34%).

Larger EV models increasing in popularity

The research also found that electric SUVs are some of the most commonly owned EV models. Of the 26 car models amongst the sample, the Kia e-Niro, Audi E-tron and Cupra Born all featured in the top five, suggesting that EV drivers want large, family-sized models, but are not yet in a position to lose their petrol or diesel vehicle. The study also revealed that, while Tesla remains the preferred brand overall, there has been a decline in the number of drivers choosing Tesla vehicles. This suggests a growing willingness among drivers to explore different brands, reflecting the expanding range of available electric vehicle options.

“Since our first EVX report in February 2023, we’ve seen a five-year delay to the 2030 deadline, motorway ultra-rapid charging targets being missed, and increased misinformation about the EV driving experience. It’s not surprising that the latest intake of EV drivers are coming to the EV world with less confidence than the first generation of adoptees. “It’s clear from our research that there’s still anxiety about travelling longer distances, so while it’s great to see so many drivers starting their EV journey with larger SUV models, typically ‘family’ cars, there remains a reluctance to becoming a fully electric household. “We know EVs are the future of mobility, so we hope more work is done on providing certainty, starting with the government confirming its commitment to net zero with measures that support drivers to make the transition, and additional investment in our charging infrastructure, so it has a chance to catch up with consumer needs.”

Tim Buchan, CEO, Zenith

Tim Buchan, CEO

The EVXperience Report

Welcome to Zenith’s second report into the lives and experiences of the UK’s Electric Vehicle (EV) drivers.