■ Younger generation ‘leading the way’ in embracing electric cars
YOUNG people are the most likely to own an electric vehicle and are least likely to worry about ‘barriers’ to ownership, a new study suggests.
An AA survey of 16,500 people found that despite the fact that 76 per cent of 18-to-24-year-olds quizzed were concerned about the price of electric vehicles (EVs), 5 per cent of respondents said they owned one — the biggest representation of any age group.
The number of EV owners decreased as age increased, with 4 per cent of 25-to-34-year-olds and 1 per cent of people aged 55 and over owning an electric vehicle.
Edmund King, president of the motoring organisation, said: ‘This may confound the “boy racer” image that older people may have of young drivers. Although overall numbers are still low, it shows that young drivers are taking an interest in new car technology.’
The research found prospective owners of all ages were concerned about a perceived lack of charging stations, durability of the battery and limited range. They also raised issues with how long it would take for the low running costs to offset the often higher purchase price of an EV.
However, King said: ‘In reality, these concerns are evaporating much more quickly than perhaps most people realise.
‘It seems that young drivers certainly “get” the concept of electric driving, and our research consistently showed that it is older drivers who are putting up concerns that simply don’t exist. In fact, a third of respondents overall say they have no understanding of EVs.’
■ Volkswagen confirms production of all-electric Microbus
VOLKSWAGEN has confirmed it will be putting its all-electric Microbus into production.
Making the announcement at the Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach, California, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said that the Microbus ‘unites past and future as well as Pebble Beach and the Silicon Valley’.
It is due to hit dealerships in 2022, and will come as the second vehicle in the compact I.D. range behind a compact hatchback.
Diess added: ‘After the presentations at the global motor shows in Detroit and Geneva, we received a large number of letters and emails from customers who said, “please build this car”.
‘The Microbus, which is what the Bulli is called in America, has always been part of the California lifestyle. Now we’re bringing it back by developing Volkswagen’s next e-generation and by reinventing the Bulli as an electric vehicle.’
Though Volkswagen hasn’t disclosed much about the layout of the van, it has said the batteries will be mounted in the vehicle floor — most likely for better weight distribution. The electric motor’s compact size also means that the Microbus has short overhangs and a long wheelbase, maximising space inside. Diess said: ‘The vehicle therefore looks like a short compact van on the outside, even as it offers the generous interior space of a large van.’
■ Retired drivers name favourite UK road in new survey
A COUNTRY road in Scotland has been named as the UK’s most retirement-friendly.
The route, a 66-mile stretch from Lochgilphead to the Glen Coe mountains, was voted by retired drivers as their favourite in a survey conducted by insurance firm LV.
The survey, which quizzed 1,085 motorists aged 65 about their confidence behind the wheel, revealed 74 per cent of drivers reduced the amount of driving they did after retiring, with 22 per cent considering themselves a ‘nervous’ driver.
Respondents blamed overcrowded roads, health-related concerns and worsening eye sight as reasons for losing confidence on the roads.
In a bid to help older drivers with their confidence, LV has nicknamed the road from Lochgilphead to the Glen Coe mountains ‘Route 66’, to give it a relaxed vibe. The route includes dramatic scenery and a variety of tourist-friendly attractions.
Selwyn Fernandes, managing director of car insurance at LV, said: ‘We’re thrilled to name this beautiful section of road as the most retirement-friendly in the UK.
‘Most drivers who have retired have decades of experience behind the wheel, but as our research shows they increasingly start to feel less confident on the road.
‘By creating a Route 66 in the UK, we’re helping these drivers feel more confident by providing a special stretch of road just for them.’