Older drivers, women and lower-income motorists face being left behind in the rush to go electric, industry chiefs warned yesterday.

Experts said the three groups were most at risk of being frozen out of the transition amid the soaring cost of electric vehicles (EVs), piling pressure on ministers to provide support for making the switch.

It came as peers launched an inquiry into EVs and whether the Government’s 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel car sales is realistic.

In its opening session, the Lords’ environment and climate change committee was told that the cost of insuring an EV has soared by up to 60 per cent this year.

Meanwhile, on-street charging points are up to 20 per cent pricier than filling up with fossil fuels due to the surge in electricity costs.

Experts said the three groups were most at risk of being frozen out of the transition amid the soaring cost of electric vehicles [Stock image]

Experts said the three groups were most at risk of being frozen out of the transition amid the soaring cost of electric vehicles [Stock image] 

One key target of having six high-speed chargers at every motorway service station by 2024 will almost certainly be missed, the committee was told.

It came as a survey, for the AutoTrader car sales website, found that 56 per cent of drivers consider EVs too expensive and that only 47 per cent think it would fit in with their lifestyle.

It is the latest blow for the Government’s 2030 target.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, told the committee that EV sales were cooling off and better incentives were needed to help private motorists buy them. He said: ‘Insurance has gone up significantly this year – some 50 or 60 per cent. Can we do something to incentivise or make it more affordable in terms of insurance?’

EVs have price tags as much as £10,000 more expensive than petrol or diesel equivalents. And there are just nine EV models on sale for less than £30,000, down from 11 at the end of 2022.

By contrast, there are 87 diesel and petrol models which sell for below £30,000.

Marc Palmer, of Auto Trader, told peers: ‘There are three core groups being left behind by the transition: those over 55, women and people on lower incomes.

‘We see a real risk that those people could be left behind in the transition so action needs to be taken to help them out.

‘The core reasons they’re being left behind really is cost – it’s a big barrier – perceptions around public charging infrastructure and changes required of lifestyle.’

Another poll, conducted by the AA and Electrifying.com, found that just 16 per cent of drivers agree that the Government is right to pursue the 2030 ban.

Only 9 per cent of respondents said their next car would be electric, with a staggering 87 per cent stating that EVs were too expensive.

The Daily Mail has launched a campaign calling on ministers to rethink the 2030 target, designed to turbocharge the switch to EVs and aid efforts to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

This post first appeared on Dailymail.co.uk

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