Sales of electric vehicles (EVs) to fleet customers are booming, but private buyers are showing less interest in making the transition to electric cars. This shift is leading car manufacturers to call for more financial incentives and improved charging infrastructure in the UK.
Currently, only 25% of new EVs are sold to private motorists, compared to 33% in the same period last year. This downward trend among private buyers is concerning car manufacturers, who could face fines if they fail to sell a sufficient number of zero-emission vehicles as a percentage of their total sales volumes.
The government has committed to implementing a policy that requires the sale of zero-emission vehicles starting from January 2024, but legislation specifying the penalties has not yet been enacted.
A recent survey conducted by the Society of Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealed that 68% of non-EV drivers express a desire to switch to an EV. However, the lack of financial incentives and concerns about the limitations of the UK’s charging network are causing potential buyers to postpone their decisions. Only 2% of respondents plan to switch to EVs this year, while 17% plan to do so in 2024. Most respondents believe it won’t be until 2026 or later.
The SMMT survey found that accelerating EV adoption among private buyers depends on two factors: the availability of financial incentives and improvements in public charging infrastructure. Since the removal of the Plug-in Car Grant in 2022, the UK is the only major European market without taxpayer-backed incentives to support EV sales, despite having the most ambitious timeline to end sales of internal combustion engine cars.
Industry experts, including representatives from VW Group UK, Toyota GB, and Ford of Europe, have expressed support for government action to incentivize EV sales. They have also called for greater clarity on proposed legislation surrounding the zero-emission mandate and a legally binding mandate on the minimum number of charging facilities.
To drive EV adoption among private buyers, it is crucial for the government to provide financial incentives and improve charging infrastructure. With the right incentives, more private buyers can make the switch to electric vehicles, contributing to a greener and more sustainable future for the UK.
– Society of Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)
– Auto Express