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Is the EV market lacking charge?

By Chloe Smyth

Okay so first off, this isn’t another article addressing the lack of chargers across the UK road network - more so the lack of electric vehicles (EVs) on the road! 

Last week the Office for Budget Responsibility published some slightly concerning updates, showing a substantial decrease in their projections for registrations of EVs over the next few years. 

Worryingly the national forecaster now anticipates that EVs will represent 18% of sales in 2023, down from the previous estimate of 25%. Additionally, the forecast for 2027 has been cut nearly in half, from 67% to 38%.

This follows the recent government announcement to delay the ban on petrol and diesel engine vehicle sales for another five years, from 2030 to 2035. From my personal stance, this decision  - along with the lack of financial incentives, high interest rates and decreasing fuel prices - has probably stunted the curiosity of the public into transitioning into the world of EV. 

The news of the ban also divided opinions of manufacturers, with some saying it was a smart decision due to a lack of infrastructure in the UK and others disappointed by the lack of support and urgency to move forward with the EV transition. 

In the last two years, there has been a huge influx of new EV models from popular brands in the UK such as VW, Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Hyundai and Kia, as well as some new OEMS entering our market such as Fisker from the US and BYD from China. Despite the increase in available practical models, there still seems to be a premium across the price tag and this may be another reason for the lack of sales. 

It has been suggested that one way of tackling this obstacle would be for manufacturers to make tactical registrations.

INDICATA UK suggested in one of their latest insight reports, “That used market continues to show more of an appetite for used EVs and hybrids, even if it is for the lower priced models.” 

By making some tactical-based registrations manufacturers could lower used car prices and ultimately increase demand. Furthermore, by allowing people to enter the market this would boost future sales of new vehicles. 

Regardless of the obstacles, the government and OEMs need to come up with some quick fixes as the Department for Transport confirmed in the Zero Emission Vehicle mandate - which comes into play in January 2024 - that 22% of cars and 10% of vans sold by manufacturers will need to be electric! So there's definitely some work to do…

Worryingly the national forecaster now anticipates that EVs will represent 18% of sales in 2023, down from the previous estimate of 25%. Additionally, the forecast for 2027 has been cut nearly in half, from 67% to 38%.

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