Main reason for van drivers resisting a switch to an electric van has been revealed in a survey

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HALF of van drivers have concerns about switching to electric models – with charging time, the outright cost of buying one new, and doubts over battery life the biggest barriers.

A poll of 500 van drivers found of the 57 per cent yet to go electric, 16 per cent have reservations over the charging time.

Doubts over the initial cost of buying an EV (16 per cent), running out of charge – or range anxiety (15 per cent), and a perceived lack of charging points (13 per cent) are also worries.

While 13 per cent are put off because they don’t have a charging station at home and 12 per cent are fearful over the cost of repairs.

Despite the concerns, 26 per cent of those who drive a petrol or diesel van for work believe their company would be perceived more positively if they were to make the switch.

The research was commissioned by Ford as part of its latest Go Electric report which aims to highlight the challenges and benefits of Britain’s move towards electric vehicles.

Mandy Dean, commercial vehicle director for the vehicle manufacturer, said: “Our research shows while there are concerns about the switch, van drivers seem willing to embark on the journey to go green.

“Understanding people’s perceptions of electric vehicles is vital to making sure we’re all on board – including the commercial vehicle sector – which is so important for the UK’s economy.”

A separate study by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders found 13 per cent of passenger vehicles on Britain’s roads are electric or hybrid.

But only 0.3 per cent of commercial vehicles are fully electric or plug-in hybrids.

With the ban on combustion engine vehicles in 2030 edging closer, the Ford study found 38 per cent of everyone polled believe getting an electric vehicle is a “smart investment”.

While 49 per cent believe electric vans will be the most common type of van on Britain’s roads within the next 10 years.

Of those who run a company or work for a business yet to move toward e-vehicles, one in 10 believe the switch is imminent – and 59 per cent expect this to happen within the next six months.

While 23 per cent believe the change to occur in the next three months.

More than half (52 per cent) think taking this course of action would be a “really cool” move.

Despite the growing belief in the future of EVs, many feel they do not have a good understanding of how they work.

Many also are apparently unsure what the typical range of the latest generation of electric vans is – on average those polled inaccurately think an EV lasts just 67.5 miles before needing to be charged.

Of those who drive company-owned electric vans, 71 per cent admitted they’re unsure how they’d be reimbursed for electricity costs if they charged their company vehicle at home.

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