Despite repeated attempts by green advocates and local government to stir up interest, Britons are less concerned than ever about electric cars.
According to a survey by the Department for Transport, 56 per cent of the public have never considered buying an electric vehicle, with only one per cent saying they intend to “quite soon”. The percentage of people who already own one is a flat zero.
The figure is even worse among respondents who actually have a driving licence, with 69 per cent saying they have no interest in purchasing such a vehicle.
Even when given a list of potential benefits, nearly one in four respondents said that nothing – not cost, battery duration, ease of recharging, reliability of technology or potential resale value – would ever make them consider buying one.
The results will come as a blow to several local authorities around the country who have spent millions of pounds installing electric car charging points in various towns, some of which have never been used.
In 2013, for example, it was revealed that Milton Keynes had spent £540,000 installing charging points across the city yet one had only been used once in three years and another three were used for less than 10 minutes.
A report later that year found that councils had spent £7.2m on charging points over a three year period, with six councils admitting that some had not been used once and less than a third of local authorities having a charging point used more than once a week.
Professor David Bailey from Coventry University Business School told the BBC’s You and Yours programme: “At the moment there are hardly any electric cars on the road. There are more charging points than there are electric cars.
“Much more effort needs to go into stimulating the demand side and educating people so that they know how to use these cars.”