The debate about charging electric cars is an increasingly live issue, according to a new Opinium survey of 2,000 UK drivers.
Over three-quarters (77%) think it is unfair that electric car owners who are unable to install a home charger (e.g., in flats or with no off-street parking) have no option but to pay higher rates at public charging points. This is highest amongst under 34s (84%) and drivers living in London (86%).
The survey, commissioned by InsuretheGap.com, a leading supplier of GAP Insurance, also showed that sparks could fly between family and friends in the future.
Only a third (36%) of drivers say they would offer family or friends payment to use their electricity. Drivers also think they should be able to get free charging points at workplaces (22%), hotels (28%) and supermarkets and shopping centres (22%).
One in four drivers (27%) say they would top up their car at home but then try to find a free public charger to charge their car fully. According to Zap-Map, Scotland (1,060), the South East (489), and Greater London (355) have the most free public chargers in the UK.
In terms of charging etiquette at public charging points, over one in ten (12%) say they would remove a charging cable from another vehicle (if it was fully charged) and transfer it to their car, with 4% swapping the charging cable anyway from an unattended vehicle if they were in a rush.
One in twenty (5%) say they would try to cut a queue to charge their car quicker, rising to 11% of under 34s. However, over one in ten (13%) drivers say they would not want to use a public charger.
“Charging electric cars is probably the major sticking point for many motorists in whether to make that leap to electric car ownership,” says Ross Callander, from InsuretheGap.
“This survey highlights the fairness issue of the haves and the have-nots in electric car ownership, whereby it’s generally more economical for those who can charge at home compared to those who cannot. It may also point to some tricky conversations in the future about how we pay for our electric car charging when we’re out and about visiting friends and relations.”