Drivers think EVs are too expensive, but most are unaware there are government subsidies

Darren Cassey, PA Motoring Reporter
·2-min read

The majority of motorists are unaware of government subsidies designed to encourage electric vehicle uptake, as it’s revealed the vast majority think EVs are too pricey.

A new study of more than 15,000 motorists found that an overwhelming 81 per cent consider EVs too expensive, but 63 per cent were unaware of the plug-in car grant (PICG).

The PICG is a government incentive designed to encourage motorists to buy electric vehicles by offering a £2,500 discount on any EV up to £35,000. Motorists can also get a £350 grant towards the installation of a home charger.

Volvo XC40 Recharge

Further findings from the study show there is positive interest in EVs, such as the fact that 34 per cent believe an electric vehicle would suit their lifestyle now, while 62 per cent liked the idea of waking up to a full battery.

However, despite being increasingly receptive to EVs, there are still some concerns. Price was the biggest worry for motorists, while 77 per cent are concerned an EV can’t go as far on a ‘tank’ as a conventional car, 59 per cent think charging takes too long, and 56 per cent are concerned the charging infrastructure is unreliable.

When asked what would give them more confidence in buying an EV, 75 per cent said access to a charging point at home, 73 per cent said being able to use any charge point regardless of which company owns it, and 72 per cent said knowing there’s a reliable fast charging network on motorways.

The survey was commissioned jointly between breakdown service The AA, EV news site, and Transport Minister Rachel Maclean.

Maclean said: “As host of [UN Climate Change Conference] COP26, we want more people to feel empowered to make the switch to an electric vehicle. The release of today’s survey highlights the bumps in the road towards more people choosing an EV, and we know many want support from the government and wider industry to do so.

“That is why we’re investing up to £2.8 billion to drive the switch, creating a world-leading electric vehicle charging network that’s reliable for all and accelerating us towards a zero-emission future.”

Ginny Buckley, founder of, said: “The silent revolution has started but it’s obvious we need to help people along the way. Reliable information, independent reviews and access to understandable information are essential as we travel towards the 2030 ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars.”