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Electric car owners do 390 miles MORE a year than petrol and diesel

Nissan claims electric car owners across Europe are already covering more miles annually than those driving petrol and diesel cars, despite continued concerns about range anxiety.

The average electric vehicle user travels 391 miles (630 kilometres) more each year than those with cars with combustion engines, according to the Japanese car maker’s research.

‘We are confident that with more EV on the road dispelling myths, range anxiety will soon be in the past,’ said Nissan, which makes the popular pure-electric Leaf

Is range anxiety a thing of the past? Nissan says so, after claiming that EV drivers travel further each year than owners of petrol and diesel cars

A poll of 7,000 motorists in the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Norway, Sweden and Denmark earlier this year asked car drivers to detail how many miles they cover each year – not including 2020.

It found that owners of petrol and diesel motors travelled around 13,600km (8,451 miles) on average, while EV drivers claim they tally more than 14,200km (8,825 miles) per annum. 

The surprise results of the poll suggest range anxiety might not be as big a hurdle as many drivers fear, despite this consistently being one of the major ones for drivers when considering to switch to a plug-in model.

The brand’s own Nissan Leaf and Leaf+ models, priced from £26,000 to £32,500 in the UK, have on official full-battery range of 169 to 239 miles – a more than adequate amount for the average British round-trip commute of 23 miles per day.

Range anxiety – along with high prices, a lack of charging infrastructure and shrinking grants toward the purchase of electric cars – remains one of the biggest issues for drivers.

Almost half (47 per cent) of internal combustion engine drivers polled said the main advantage of a petrol or diesel car is greater range autonomy. 

Likewise, when looking into the reasons behind the 30 per cent of internal combustion engine (ICE) drivers who are unlikely to consider a fully electric vehicle, the majority (58 per cent) said the biggest concern is that EVs have low driving range autonomy.

But Nissan says the results of its study suggest range anxiety could already be a ‘thing of the past’, with 70 per cent of existing EV drivers saying their experience of range is already better than they initially expected.

‘This research reiterates that electric driving is not only a smart option beneficial to the environment but also a fun, exciting and convenient choice for the owners,’ said Arnaud Charpentier from Nissan.

‘It is no surprise that people now drive EV further than ICE cars. We are confident that with more EV on the road dispelling myths, range anxiety will soon be in the past.’

The Nissan study was a survey of 7,000 motorists across Europe, with a mix of internal combustion car drivers and EV owners, such as 84-year-old Luis Charro from Spain, pictured

Edwin Glaser from The Netherlands posing with his Nissan Leaf EVs

The Nissan study was a survey of 7,000 motorists across Europe, with a mix of internal combustion car drivers and EV owners. 84-year-old Luis Charro from Spain (left) and Edwin Glaser from The Netherlands (right) pose with their Nissan Leaf EVs

Maria Jansen from Norway recently celebrated receiving the 500,000th Leaf worldwide. She uses the car to travel to Sweden to visit family

Maria Jansen from Norway recently celebrated receiving the 500,000th Leaf worldwide. She uses the car to travel to Sweden to visit family

The very pro-electric car survey results also found that the majority of European EV drivers (69 per cent) are happy with the current charging infrastructure available.  

That’s despite there being reports of a north-south divide in terms of EV ownership in the UK, which is partially driven by varying availability of chargers.

Lack of trained EV mechanics poses ‘serious risk’ to electric car plans in Britain 

Recent analysis by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has revealed that by the end of 2020 only 6.5 per cent of the automotive sector was EV ready.

This was a mere 1.5 per cent increase on previous IMI analysis of the workforce and underlined a ‘gaping chasm’ in the proportion of the automotive sector skilled to work on electric vehicles. 

The IMI believes this deficit presents a ‘serious risk’ to consumer confidence in wide-scale adoption of zero emission motoring. 

‘There is no question that government, industry and consumers are all switching on to the idea of electric motoring,’ said Steve Nash, IMI CEO.

He said the lack of a skilled EV workforce should ‘ring alarm bells for government’ ahead of its big ambitions for the ban on sales of new petrol and diesel motors from 2030. 

Nash warned that the current skills gap across the UK economy has also been exacerbated by a combination of COVID-19 and Brexit and that ministers need to contribute some of £12billion funding for the EV switch to training mechanics to work on these complex cars.

‘If the new parc of electric vehicles can’t be serviced and repaired safely, consumer confidence could be severely undermined,’ he said.

Recent DfT figures claim Scotland is ahead of the rest of the UK in terms of availability of public devices, with 40 devices per 100,000 living there. That compares to 31 devices per 100,000 in England.

In contrast, the South East has just 31 chargers per 100,000 locals – though London does have the most, with 62 per 100,000 people. 

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders also claimed recently that 700 charge points need to be installed daily to support the growing market going forward.

There are currently 15,399 locations across the UK which have public charging points installed, with the number of devices at those locations totalling 24,129 according to Zap-Map.

However, average growth on charging devices is 700 every 30 days, putting infrastructure way behind what the trade body says is needed in order to meet increasing demand.

When drivers of petrol and diesel cars were asked what would convince them to switch to an EV, 38 per cent said the biggest ‘pull-factor’ would be longer ranges.

Almost a third (32 per cent) said easier charging would persuade them to make the leap, while three in 10 said they would need to see an improved availability of public devices before ditching their traditional motors.    

Mr Charpentier described the current situation as an ‘exciting time for the automotive industry’ and said the development of new models will ultimately make it easier for motorists to convert to electrified vehicles. 

‘As we continue to expand our electric line-up with the all-electric coupé crossover, the Nissan Ariya and the all-new Qashqai with our award-winning e-Power technology, there will be more choice to help inspire drivers to make the switch and continue this positive trend of cleaner travel for our planet,’ he said.

If range anxiety is a thing of the past, why is the RAC equipping one in five patrols with onboard chargers? 

While Nissan is claiming that range anxiety might not be as big an issue as some may think, actions taken by the RAC suggest this isn’t the case. 

It recently signing an exclusivity agreement with the British manufacturer of its pioneering ‘EV Boost technology’ to supply its patrol vehicles with on-board chargers for electric cars that have ran out of juice.

RAC EV Boost was launched as a 3.5kW charger in April 2019, though a faster 5kW is now being installed in more patrol vehicles – and a 7.5kW device could follow.

The RAC says it plans to have 200 vans equipped to boost out-of-charge EVs by the end of 2021, with a further 120 coming online in 2022 – meaning one in every five RAC patrols vans will be able to give electric vehicles an emergency roadside boost.

This need for its patrols to be equipped with on-board chargers suggest there is plenty of demand as a result of EV drivers running their batteries empty. 

One in five RAC patrol vehicles will soon have on-board EV chargers to replenish flat batteries of plug-in models

One in five RAC patrol vehicles will soon have on-board EV chargers to replenish flat batteries of plug-in models

The RAC says it plans to have 200 vans equipped to boost out-of-charge EVs by the end of 2021, with a further 120 coming online in 2022 - and is boosting the performance of the devices to speed-up charging times at the roadside

The RAC says it plans to have 200 vans equipped to boost out-of-charge EVs by the end of 2021, with a further 120 coming online in 2022 – and is boosting the performance of the devices to speed-up charging times at the roadside

RAC chief operations director James Knight said: ‘We were very proud to be the first breakdown company to launch a solution at scale to help out-of-charge EV drivers, and we’re even more delighted to be the only roadside assistance company in the UK that can use this pioneering British-designed technology.

‘It means within minutes of arriving with one of our EV customers, our expert patrols can plug in and get the car topped up enough to be driven a short distance home or to a nearby chargepoint. 

‘We believe it’s faster, more efficient and better for the planet than having to send a big flatbed recovery vehicle or a van full of batteries.’ 

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