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Negative coverage means more than four out of 10 think EVs catch fire easily, research shows

Negative coverage mean that more than four out of 10 people (43%) think electric vehicles (EVs) catch fire easily, new research shows.

May’s new Startline Used Car Tracker also reveals that 52% believe EV batteries become useless after just a few years, 26% that they are ultimately more polluting than petrol cars, and 24% that drivers can lose control of the vehicles, which will then run away with them.

Paul Burgess, CEO at Startline Motor Finance, said: “There’s been a wave of inaccurate, sometimes sensationalist coverage about EVs over the last couple of years and our research shows that it is having a damaging effect on public perception.

“It appears that there are a relatively large number of people who, after seeing, hearing or reading negative coverage, believe that if they buy an EV, it is likely to either burst into flames or become useless after a short period of time due to battery failure.

“Both of these things are, of course, untrue but are probably having an effect on demand for EVs in both the new and used market. As electric cars become more common over time, these myths will no doubt start to fade but in the shorter term, more should probably be done by the motor industry as a whole to counter them.”

The Startline Used Car Tracker also shows that 47% of people believe that EVs lose significant range in cold weather and 47% that they cost more to run and maintain than equivalent petrol or diesel models.

Paul said: “At least there is some degree of accuracy to these beliefs. While the extent to which EVs lose power in cold weather is often exaggerated, there is some loss of range, while current costs are higher than petrol vehicles, although this is changing quite quickly.”

The Startline Used Car Tracker is compiled monthly for Startline Motor Finance by APD Global Research, well-known in the motor industry for their business intelligence reporting and customer experience programs. This time, 303 consumers and 60 dealers were questioned.

About the Startline Used Car Tracker

The Startline Used Car Tracker was launched in April 2022 to produce essential attitudinal data about the used car sector over time. Each month, it asks consumers about their propensity to buy, fuel choices and the factors that will affect used car purchases, as well as questioning dealers about their feelings regarding the prospects of the market, the challenges facing them and their online offering.

The research is carried out for Startline by APD Global Research, well known in the motor industry for their business intelligence reporting and customer experience programs.

About Startline Motor Finance

Founded in 2013, Startline is one of the UK’s leading motor finance companies, providing flexible solutions to around half of the top 50 franchise dealers and 70% of the top 50 independent car retailers measured by turnover, as well as accounting for more than 2% of the motor finance market by volume.

It aims to deliver market-defining levels of customer service, compliance, innovation and insight. The company is headquartered in Glasgow where it employs more than 200 people and has a comprehensive sales presence throughout the whole of the UK.