Thought Leadership

Driving mass adoption of electric vehicles: Are customers ready to switch?

There can be no doubt that large-scale electric vehicle adoption feels within reach. But are UK consumers ready for the shift? Somo’s latest research suggests they might need more convincing.

Rebecca Crook, Somo

Chief Growth Officer


At long last, large-scale electric vehicle adoption feels within reach as a range of conditions converge to encourage mass-market take-up. From tightening climate change targets, growing product choice, mainstream manufacturers supported by new ownership models, to improving battery technology and charging facilities. But are car-buyers ready to make the switch and, if not, what will it take to tip the market towards mass adoption, especially in the UK where take-up rates are relatively conservative?

As of August 2019, there were 227,000 plug-in cars registered in the UK, including hybrids. Sales per month are rising, but as a total percentage of new-car sales, the numbers remain small, under 5%. In Norway, by contrast, 58% of all new cars sold in March 2019 were electric. In California, where technology leadership and the environmental agenda are driving rapid adoption, electric vehicle ownership is soaring too. But Somo’s new research suggests that UK-based consumers might need more convincing to switch to electric.

We asked 2,000 UK drivers about their attitudes towards electric vehicles. Are they ready to make the switch? What will it take to get them over the line? And, where consumers aren’t considering electric, what specifically is holding them back?


Jim Campbell, Founder & MD, Sutherland Campbell International

Graeme Cooper, Project Director, National Grid

Ian Johnston, Chief Executive Officer, Engenie

Jason Cranswick, Commercial Director, Jardine Motor Group

Simon Oldfield, Freelance Consultant


Visit Somo’s showcase to download the full report.

Guest Author

Rebecca Crook, Somo

Chief Growth Officer,


Rebecca has twenty years of marketing experience specialising in the digital innovation sector over the last ten years. She has worked with some of the UK’s most recognisable brands including Lloyds Banking Group, British Airways, Haven Holidays, Tesco Clubcard and Invesco. Rebecca leads the new business and marketing strategy for Somo, working closely with new clients to understand their business challenges. Her focus is on defining how Somo can design, build and create customer-centric digital experiences that give brands a competitive edge and meet the rising expectations of today’s customers. Outside of work, Rebecca has a keen interest in heritage and sits on a number of Boards advising on restoring and bringing historical assets back to life. Most recently, she has sat on the National Trust Strategic Advisory Board and Saltdean Lido, the country’s only Grade II* listed lido.

Related Tags

technology Electric Cars