Smart Transport

Covid-19 has increased commitment to the car, says OC&C

Queue of cars

Nearly 45% of drivers have said Covid-19 has made them see the car as more essential, according to a new report from consultancy OC&C.

The OC&C Speedometer "Battery late than never" report also shows that 59% of non-drivers are now planning to get a car (vs 52% in 2019).

While many reports during the pandemic have highlighted the boosts to active travel over the last 12 months, the OC&C stats suggest “transport distancing” could be pushing more people into private cars.

In more positive news, more UK drivers are considering an battery electric vehicle (BEV) for their next car, with 31% saying they considered it when during their last car purchase and over 57% saying they would consider a BEV for their next car.

This compares with 20% and 45% respectively in 2019.

However, there is a huge gap to fill in terms of costs – which OC&C still believes is the biggest blocker to move consideration to purchase.

The majority (87%) of UK drivers are unwilling to pay more than £1,000 premium to get a BEV (43% would pay nothing extra).

Over two thirds (70%) of those who think they are “likely” to buy a BEV still don’t want to pay more than £500 premium

While drivers don’t want to pay much of a premium for EVs, they would consider extra costs for packaged mobility packages.

Of those surveyed, 37% said they would buy a full subscription to a car (including the car, insurance, maintenance and ability to swap the vehicle if they wish) vs 29% in 2019.

A further 31% said they would be willing to pay more than they pay today for a bundled set of services giving them a guaranteed price (for depreciation, maintenance, insurance, roadside recovery).

Watch now: Connecting Policy To Solutions Virtual Conference 2021

Smart Transport Conference returned on June 8th & 9th, to facilitate pivotal discussions on the future of transport. 

The UK’s most senior public and private sector transport leaders discussed the impact of Covid-19, achieving the Government’s decarbonisation ambitions, the need for more efficient living and better health, and much more.

Keynote speakers included: 

Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), who spoke on BEIS's approach to decarbonising transport, particularly the electrification of the vehicle industry

Keith Williams, co-author of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, who spoke on rail’s role in integrated transport, decarbonisation and innovation.

Rachel Maclean, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Transport, who discussed the future of transport and its pivotal role in a ‘green recovery’ from the pandemic.


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