Research from Volkswagen Financial Services UK (VWFS) suggests that one of the main perceived barriers to owning an electric car might be caused by a modern obsession with needing fully charged personal devices.

The research shows that more than half of the British panic if they know the charge on their phone or laptop is low. VWFS extends this to electric vehicles and suggests range anxiety could be influenced more by human psychology than by scepticism about the UK’s public charging network.

The research found that three in 10 people (31%) believe there are not enough charging points in the areas where they live and work. However, with the average length of a car journey in the UK is less than 10 miles, Volkswagen suggests the concerns are more perceived than real.

“The research make for interesting reading at a critical time for the automotive industry,” said Mike Todd, CEO at Volkswagen Financial Services UK.

“With public charging stations being installed at supermarkets, gyms and elsewhere, frequent top-ups rather than big weekly charges are likely to be the best way forward for many, especially those without off-street parking.

Quentin Willson, former Top Gear presenter and founder of the FairCharge campaign, added, “We’ve seen an explosion in EVs in the last two years and electric cars will become the preferred choice for many.

“Many people don’t realise that EV batteries are completely different to the batteries in our phones and laptops and so we need to educate new adopters to think differently about battery life, reliability and charging,” Willson continued.

“Graze charging is now a thing, where people charge at home, top up at work, then again at the gym and also at the supermarket. I think charging anxiety really exists mainly among EV considerers as opposed to EV drivers.”

“I don’t know anyone who’s not completed a trip because they couldn’t find a charging station. We don’t have fuel pumps in our driveways. Even with our current infrastructure – which needs to improve – we can see that EV drivers are managing.”