Will ‘Car Free Day’ Drive Sustainable Travel?

Car Free Day – 22nd September – is a worldwide event that urges motorists to give up their cars for the day. Its aim is to reduce air pollution and road congestion while also promoting sustainable travel and active, healthy lifestyle choices.

This year it takes place in a unique context. Lockdown showed us what our streets can look like when there are dramatically fewer cars on the road. This is what National Car Free Day is really all about. But its air pollution and sustainable travel aims can also be met by switching from internal combustion engine cars to electric vehicles (EVs).

The latest wave of our self-funded Great Green Sustainability Study reveals that 63% of people agree that they make lifestyle compromises to benefit the environment. These include changing modes of transport to be more environmentally-friendly. At the moment, consumers are using the cheaper alternatives of walking or public transport, with very few yet to invest in electric or hybrid cars:

60% walk, 40% use public transport, 2% use Electric Car, 4% Use Hybrid Car

Looking towards a low carbon sustainable travel future

According to another self-funded tracker we run, looking specifically at consumer sentiment regarding EVs, there seems to be a growing willingness to move towards a low carbon future. We found that 42% would be willing to spend more for an electrical vehicle if it was proven to be more environmentally-friendly than a petrol or diesel car.

Willingnes to spend more for an environmentall-frendly EV is on the rise: 33% Spring 2018, 34% Autumn 2018, 33% Spring 2019, 40% Autumn 2019, 42% Spring 2020

So what can be done to promote the use of EVs? Our study showed that the main barriers to EV uptake are range anxiety (64%), lack of infrastructure (38%) and cost (70%). In addition, 58% feel the government needs to do more to encourage the public to buy an electric or hybrid vehicle.

To find out more about our Great Green Sustainability Study or how we can help you with sustainability research, contact Tom Gould, Head of Consumer, on tom.gould@impactmr.com.

To find out more about our EV Sentiment Tracker, contact Evelin Roberts, Senior Research Executive on Evelin.Roberts@impactmr.com.

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