Typical EV early adopter is a Remain-voting vegan Londoner who works in PR, claims study

Male PR and marketing executives in their 20s and 30s are the most common early adopters of electric vehicles, according to a new study that has tried to profile the EV-buying demographic.

EV registrations soared by almost 250 per cent in 2019 as more drivers decide to make the switch to zero-emission motoring. So a study by car buying platform carwow set out to find out the type of person who already owns an EV, as well as their reasons for going electric.

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According to the research, those most likely to be early adopters of EV technology are well-off Remain-voting urbanites who are almost as concerned about saving money as saving the planet. And despite going green on the car front, they’re more likely to be a frequent flyer who slacks on their recycling.

The study asked more than 2,000 members of the public whether they had already made the move to an electric car or if they were intending to do so.

It found that male respondents were more likely to be already driving an electric car than women (21 per cent of men versus seven per cent of women) with those aged 25-34 the earliest adopters (25 per cent). Eighty-three per cent of those who already own an EV said they voted Remain in the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU.

Those in higher-paid white collar jobs were far more likely to drive an EV, with 49 per cent of those earning £61,000-£70,000, half of those earning £81,000- £90,000 and 61 per cent of those earning more than £100,000 already drive an AFV compared to just five per cent of those earning up to £20,000 and 21 per cent of those earning £31,000-£40,000.

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The three job sectors with the most EV drivers were marketing, advertising and PR (60 per cent), business, consulting and management (48 per cent) and energy and utilities (38 per cent)

By region, 23 per cent of those who already drive an EV live living in Greater London, ahead of the West Midlands (20 per cent) and the South-East (13 per cent). Those in Scotland were the most likely to be considering making the switch (48 per cent) and Northern Ireland (57 per cent) and the East Midlands (51 per cent) the most opposed to ever having one.

Not going green

Despite EVs’ zero-emissions credentials less than half of drivers (46 per cent) said environmental factors influenced their choice of vehicle and only 35 per cent described themselves as environmentally conscious, compared to 53 per cent who are considering switching. EV drivers are half as likely as non-EV owners to make every effort to recycle, despite being more likely to follow a vegan or vegetarian diet. The promise of cheaper long-term running costs was the key decider in switching for 42 per cent, with a third (34 per cent) saying they simply wanted the latest technology, suggesting it’s more about being first than saving the planet for some buyers.

The study suggests that as more mainstream EVs come to market, a wider spread of people are planning to swap their diesel or petrol car for an electric one. Almost half (49 per cent) of those earning between £21,000 and £40,000 said they were considering the switch, with environmental factors most likely to be their motivating factor (53 per cent).