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Is the North East ready for electric vehicles? New survey examines EV signs and symbols knowledge


Oct 4, 2023

As the electric vehicle (EV) revolution continues to gain momentum, the UK stands at the brink of a pivotal era in transport. However, although the Government has pledged £500 million towards EV charging hubs, a new survey from Saga reveals while enthusiasm for EVs is on the rise, there are still knowledge gaps among drivers regarding the signs, symbols and rules.

While looking at motoring knowledge, a notable 80% of respondents in the North East demonstrated their prowess, confidently identifying all road signs within the highway code – one of the highest in the country.

Although, as the survey goes on, it became evident that the EV landscape held a few knowledge discrepancies. A majority (56%) of drivers in this region admitted they’re unfamiliar with dashboard and roadside symbols specific for EVs, highlighting a gap in understanding.

Only 41% of North East drivers correctly identified the ‘eco mode’ dashboard symbol, while a mere 23% were able to identify the ‘electrical fault’ symbol. And overall, over half (52%) of respondents said they couldn’t identify any of these symbols.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the survey revealed 72% of EV drivers said that familiarity with EV symbols is important. While individuals aged 35 to 44 showed the highest agreement rate at 86% regarding the significance of EV symbols, those aged 55 and above, a substantial majority, totalling 67%, held the same view.

The survey revealed also that familiarity with the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) symbol increased with age, with 81% of those aged 55 and above correctly interpreting its meaning.

As CAZ schemes may have a role to play in increasing public awareness of EV rules and regulations –  these Clean Air Zones could play a pivotal role in elevating public understanding of EV regulations.

Saga Comments:

“The survey’s results spotlight an evolving landscape of electric vehicles in the UK as well as draw attention to the need to enhance public understanding of EV signs and symbols. As the nation pushes towards its 2035 ban of new petrol and diesel cars, Saga encourages drivers to engage with this change.

“As the electric vehicle revolution gains momentum, bridging this knowledge gap will be vital in ensuring a smooth transition towards a sustainable transportation future.”