The CEO of a car retailer on the reasons behind the electric car’s hesitation

Electric vehicle charging space in London, UK

Keith Mayhew / SOPA Images | Light Rocket | Getty Images

CEO of Automotive Retailer Pendragon He acknowledges the challenges facing the electric vehicle sector but believes that adoption rates will increase in the future.

Speaking to CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” on WednesdayBill Berman said the engines needed to be changed and described himself as a “big fan of electric cars.”

“I’m also a huge fan of hydrogen – I think it has a role to play and I think it’s going to start to look a little bit stronger in the coming years,” he said. “People’s hesitation … about electricity is multifaceted,” he added.

“Firstly, it’s unknown — no one’s ever driven an electric car, so there’s a lot of uncertainty associated with that,” Berman said, referring to the fact that not many people ever got behind the wheel of an electric car.

“There is concern about how far most consumers are. Although…most consumers drive less than 50 miles a day, knowing you can’t easily refuel your car creates hesitation.”

Range anxiety refers to the idea that electric cars are unable to make long trips without running out of charge or stranded. In order to address this, adequate charging infrastructure will need to be developed in the coming years.

Up to this point, Berman explained how, in his opinion, there were challenges with where the vehicle could be charged. “Most homes are not equipped with a power source, and most office buildings do not,” he said.

“It’s kind of a ‘chicken and egg’ proverb but as more electric cars are sold and more infrastructure is put in place – whether it’s in North America or Europe or the UK – I think adoption rates will go up.”

Read more about electric cars from CNBC Pro

Change seems to be on the horizon when it comes to the types of vehicles people use. The United Kingdom, for example, has made plans to move away from the internal combustion engine and Develop a zero-transport sector by 2050.

It wants to stop selling new diesel and gasoline cars and vans by 2030 and requires, from 2035, that all cars and vans be zero-emissions-exhaust.

Elsewhere, the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, is targeting a 100% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from cars and trucks by 2035.

As technology evolves and concerns about the environment grow, the auto industry appears poised for some significant changes in the coming years.

In his CNBC interview, Berman sought to paint a picture of how this happened. “I think people will adopt … alternative means of transportation,” he said.

“I think people are going to adopt different ways of getting around and moving around, as well as different engines…whether it’s electric or hydrogen.”

“At some point down the road there will be self-driving vehicles,” he said. “And as you know, you can call Pod to pick you up, Uber– Classy and … take you to the market every day. “

Pendragon, which is headquartered in the United Kingdom and listed on the London Stock Exchange, on Wednesday announced a basic pre-tax profit of 35.1 million pounds ($48.55 million) for the first half of the financial year. This compares to a loss of £31m for the first half of the financial year in 2020.


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