The importance of salary sacrifice schemes has been highlighted as a major factor in the mass uptake of electric vehicles, according to new research.

The annual motoring report by salary sacrifice scheme provider Tusker found that 60% of the drivers that took part would choose a fully electric car if the “sal/sac” method of funding was available. A similar number (61%) said they would buy a petrol or hybrid vehicle without access to sal/sac.

More than 2,000 motorists took part in the survey, which also revealed that 53% expected to change their car within two years. It shows that there is a significant opportunity for sal/sac schemes to be used to encourage more people to buy fully battery-powered EVs (BEVs).

Paul Gilshan, CEO of Tusker, said: “If we’re going to change the UK into an electric vehicle (EV) marketplace, we really need access for all people in the UK and I just don’t think we’re there, because it’s just too expensive (to currently buy an EV). Our research clearly shows, however, that demand is definitely there for EVs, given the right incentives.”  

“Other (funding) products, as the report shows, are just completely inaccessible to them,” said Gilshan. “Who can afford to make a £3,000 upfront payment on a personal contract purchase (PCP)? I just think (sal/sac) is able to give more people, in particular the right people, the later adopters, access to an EV now and that is key.”  

The findings come at a time when there is starting to be real concern about the state of EV uptake in the UK.

Sales of new BEVs and plug-in hybrid cars are still healthy, and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders predict that the market share of plug-ins will be 21.9% in 2022. However, BEV uptake in October grew by less than the overall market for the first time since May 2021.