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Have EVs stalled?


The share of electric cars sold in the UK last year fell slightly even though the numbers circulating actually rose by 18% to a record 315,000. It is a small setback on the path to electrification as the market shifts from early adopters to more cautious ‘ordinary’ consumers.

The drop in share from 16.6% to 16.5% may seem trivial but it is the first time market share for EVs has fallen in the UK since 2018.

Private buyers continue to be more cautious than businesses and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) points out that while EVs have lower running costs than petrol cars, the upfront price is around 30-40 per cent higher.

At present, anyone buying an EV in the UK through a business, a company car or salary sacrifice scheme, receives tax incentives. But grants for individuals were phased out by the government two years ago.

In parallel, the Government’s commitment to banning the sale of new diesel and petrol cars has been put back from 2030 to 2035.

The SMMT suggests that UK consumer demand is being held back by doubts over affordability and charging and is calling for the return of grants or incentives for private consumers in line with what is happening in France, Germany and most other European countries.

The SMMT says that a VAT cut from 20 per cent to 10 per cent on new EVs over three years would take roughly £4,000 off the price of a new model if the savings were passed on.

Photo by Jenny Ueberberg on Unsplash


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