Market for Electric Cars in Cornwall looks set for Growth

7th February, 2017

The market for plug-in cars in Cornwall looks set to grow over the next 5 years.  A recent survey by PFA Research showed that just over 15% of respondents plan to purchase a plug-in car within the next 4 – 6 years and another 5% of respondents plan to purchase one within the next 1 – 3 years, even though less than 1% are planning a purchase within the next 12 months.

A range of market research has showed that a sizeable proportion consumers are becoming more environmentally and socially conscious.  Many of us purchase sustainably sourced goods or car-share in order to reduce our environmental footprint, so it seems logical that increasing numbers of consumers are seeking to purchase a plug-in vehicle.  The UK government has been working hard to promote the use of electric cars within the UK, as these vehicles are often regarded as much better for the environment than petrol or diesel powered vehicles.

One of the commonly cited barriers to the purchase of plug-in cars has been a perception of a lack of functional charging points for these vehicles.  This issue is likely to be even more salient within rural areas like Cornwall.  After all, no-one wants to run out of power when miles from the nearest town.  Cornwall Council is seeking to overcome this issue by installing 400 charging points across the county.

Cornwall Council is not the only area to be implementing such a scheme.  The UK government has been helping to fund electric vehicle charging points within test areas across the country, as the electric vehicle market is faced with a rather chicken and egg scenario whereby one is asked to consider whether it is the investment in a network of electric vehicle charging points or the widespread sale of electric vehicles that needs to come first.

A report from consumer comparison site, Next Green Car, showed that 35,402 plug-in cars were registered in the UK during January 2017.  Users of these vehicles can currently benefit from charging points funded by a combination of public and private sector organisations.

The increase in uptake of electric cars within Cornwall fits with a national trend.  Monthly sales of plug-in cars have been steadily increasing over the last 2 years and they now represent 1.3% of the total new car market in the UK.

These findings come from PFA Research’s popular ‘What Cornwall Thinks’ panel survey.  The survey seeks to provide the people of Cornwall with the opportunity to provide feedback in order to influence policy, investments and business decisions within the county.

Survey topics are diverse and not limited to environmental issues.  Recent topics have included favourite places, popular charities, the most-loved Cornish brands, thoughts on train travel and more besides.

If you would like to find out more about PFA Research’s upcoming surveys or their work on the use and perceptions of plug-in cars within Cornwall, then please contact Robert Salvoni at PFA Research.