As the first all-electric passenger car goes on sale in the UK, A survey reveals that one in four of us would consider buying the environmentally friendly option.
A survey of over 6,000 people from across Europe, including respondents in the UK, found that 28% of people would consider buying a vehicle with "an electrified powertrain" while 23% want to change the way they travel in order to be greener.
The survey was carried out on behalf of Ford who this week announced the first ever electric passenger car to go on sale in the UK, the Ford Focus Electric. The £33,500 car (which can be part-subsidised by the £5,000 UK Government Plug-in Car Grant) will not be seen on our roads however until 2014 and initially Ford said it would be responding to interest from its fleet customers and business sales.
So while the survey may say that consumers would consider buying an all-electric car, it seems that for now, most of the interest is coming from corporate customers. One of the main stumbling blocks for wider adoption of electric cars of course is their higher price, with a regular petrol-powered Ford Focus costing as little as £14,000 on the road.
The Ford vehicle also cost significantly more that similar cars in the category such as the Nissan Leaf which costs as little as £15,000 and Renault Fluence ZE which costs from £17,000 - though the Renault has the added cost of leasing the battery on an on-going basis.
The UK is lagging behind other countries when in comes to electric vehicles with the US among the most innovative.
The Elon Musk created Tesla cars have been on sale there for some time, though according to a spokesperson we spoke to earlier this year, the company will bring the popular Tesla S to the UK later this year and that by the end of 2014 Model S owners in London will be able to drive to Edinburgh (400 miles) or Paris (280 miles) using Superchargers to quickly top up their batteries along the way.
Barb Samardzich, vice president of product development at Ford of Europe said its customers are very interested in the environment:
"European customers care deeply about the environment and are increasingly seeing electrified vehicles as a way of balancing those concerns with a commitment to car ownership."
The Ford-sponsored survey shows most Europeans are concerned about the environment and believe the biggest problem facing the world today is climate change.
However, the survey also found that many are unsure of how to lead a 'greener' lifestyle; that most are committed to car ownership; and that the overwhelming majority see electrified vehicles as better for the environment.
Voice controlled apps
As well as putting the Ford Focus Electric for sale the company also announced that it was making advanced in other technology areas too, with the launch of a range of new apps which allow the driver ask for directions on the move, control music and audiobooks, find parking spaces and even reserve hotel rooms en route to their destination.
Using the Ford SYNC for Applink platform, a number of major partners were announced at the IFA 2013 trade show in Berlin this week, including TomTom navigation and room booking service, Hotels.com.