The Mot Test Needs To Evolve With EVs
by Becky Harrison |
posted 16 February 2021
As the move towards electric vehicles gathers pace and a greater focus is being placed on the charging network required, new research among UK motorists reveals that a significant proportion believe that the MOT should evolve in parallel with new technology.
Under the current MOT, the test measures emissions from a vehicle’s engine, therefore a purely electric vehicle registers zero emissions. However, in a study for Kwik Fit, the UK’s largest MOT tester, 45% of car owners said they believe that in the future, the MOT should take into account how the electricity used to charge the vehicle has been generated. This figure rises to 51% among owners of cars less than three years old.
Only a quarter of owners (27%) believe that the source of electricity should not be considered in the test, while over a quarter (28%) said they didn’t know. Environmental considerations are often felt to be greater among younger age groups, which may be the reason why those aged 18-34 are 36% more likely than those over 55 to believe that measuring the source of electricity should be in the MOT in the future. When it comes to a gender split, women are 20% more likely than men to feel this.
Clearly the practicalities of assessing the electricity used are significant as it would require information to be relayed from the charging systems to the vehicle. This would then need to be measured by the MOT testing equipment, requiring data standards to be put in place and major developments to the test.
With modern cars being fitted with an increasing range of technology to improve safety or to aid drivers, Kwik Fit’s study also asked motorists which of these developments they thought should be added to the components tested in the MOT. More than half of drivers (52%) said that emergency braking systems - which apply the brakes automatically when getting too close to another car – should be in the MOT if they are fitted to the vehicle. A third of drivers (33%) thought that radar, other sensors or cameras used for autonomous driving systems should be checked in the MOT, while three in ten drivers (30%) said lane assist technology should be included.
Start-stop technology was stated by just over a quarter of drivers (26%), with the same proportion (26%) believing parking sensors should be part of the annual test. Parking or rear view cameras were cited by 24% of drivers as worthy of inclusion.
Interestingly, the Kwik Fit research found that drivers who have received an MOT failure are most in favour of developing the test. Those whose car has failed its MOT in the last three years are 15% more likely to believe that these safety features or driver aids should become part of the MOT compared to drivers who have not had an MOT failure in that time. This perhaps indicates that drivers who have had an MOT failure are more likely to appreciate the important role the test plays in vehicle safety by highlighting problems in components they rely on.