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Latest news on electric, connected and autonomous vehicles

Latest news on electric, connected and autonomous vehicles
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A new YouGov survey has revealed that more consumers will make the switch to electric vehicles if there are cost savings through purchase incentives and cheaper car tax.

The research, which was commissioned by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), found that 51% of motorists would be more likely to buy an electric car for their low running costs, while 46% said that cheap or zero car tax would influence their decision.

However, just 13% of those in the market for a new car said the next vehicle they buy is most likely to be alternatively fuelled. The most common reasons not to choose an electric vehicle were linked to charging and financial outlay, with 48% worried about access to a charge point and 41% stating they were put off by higher than average purchase prices.

The YouGov poll was published the same week as another survey which found that almost two-thirds of people felt positive towards the concept of driverless cars on Britain’s roads, with 59% agreeing that the roads would be safer with driverless car technologies.

Participants in Westbourne research thought the most popular benefit of autonomous vehicle technology is that it could allow greater freedom for older or disabled people. Nearly 70% of people polled were of the view that driverless cars have the potential to deliver economic benefits, but the study also revealed concerns about security and standards. Around half of those surveyed were concerned about hacking or misuse, and a quarter were concerned that driverless cars could potentially leave people stranded if the technology failed.

There was broad support for the idea of that testing driverless cars under realistic conditions is essential to gain public support and 69% agreed that the UK should strive to lead the way in driverless car technology.

Both surveys followed the announcement of a new Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill, which, according to Transport Minister John Hayes “will make sure” the UK has the right infrastructure in place for the growing market of electric vehicles.

The Bill follows the previous Motoring Service Strategy consultation, which the BVRLA responded to last May. It aims to address a series of current grey areas in motoring legislation, including the insurance and regulation of driverless cars, the setting of minimum standards for and availability of charging points for electric vehicles and the availability of road worthiness testing facilities to the wider UK market.

The BVRLA is consulting with interested Members of Parliament, and will contact individual members with an interest in the Bill and its objectives.