Vallance: It’s impossible for majority to buy electric car
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The choice of affordable electric cars is in rapid decline, leading experts to believe that mainstream consumers could soon be priced out of the electric car market if action isn’t taken soon. Just three months ago, research from Electrifying.com revealed that there were just seven electric cars priced under £30,000.
This was described as a “perfect storm” of inflation together with manufacturers streamlining their offering means that this number is now just three.
Despite battery technology improving and the development of the global EV charging network, the number of affordable cars is slimming, highlighted by the fact that there were 15 cars under £30,000 just two years ago.
The biggest increase has been the Fiat 500e, which has seen the price of the cheapest version leap from £19,995 to £30,645 – an increase of 53 percent since this time in 2020.
This is partly because the company deleted the entry-level model with a smaller version from its range, but the car has also had an inflationary increase of £2,650 in addition to the loss of the Government grant.
Other big leapers include the Honda e, which has risen 38 percent from £26,660 to £36,920 for an identical model.
The cheapest Skoda Enyaq is now £38,970 compared to £30,450 two years ago.
Not only this, just three all-electric models still remain below the £30,000 threshold – the MG4 at a starting price of £25,995, the Nissan Leaf at £28,995 and the MINI Electric at £29,000.
MG’s ZS EV is also still on price lists at £29,495, but dealers have stopped taking orders as the car has a 14-month waiting list.
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Ginny Buckley, founder and CEO of Electrifying.com, said: “This is a crucial time in the switch to electric; although we’re seeing increasing sales of electric cars each month, it’s still the case that a level of affluence is needed to afford one.
“High inflation and a lack of affordable models means Britain’s struggling car buyers are paying more to get behind the wheel and unless action is taken – and quickly – many hard-working people across the country risk being priced out of the electric revolution.
“If we are to bring everyone along on the journey, we need the Government to step in immediately to incentivise drivers to make the switch.
“An interest-free used electric car loan is the perfect way to do this, as it would allow people to more easily make the switch without the fear of going into unnecessary debt through high interest rates.”
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The Government removed the Plug-in Car Grant in June in order to focus on improving EV charging and allocate funding elsewhere.
This was seen as a massive hit to consumers who were looking to buy zero emission vehicles, especially when paired with the plan to starting taxing EVs in 2025.
Many drivers of older petrol and diesel models will also be forced to upgrade to cleaner vehicles as local Governments introduce strict new low-emission zones in urban areas.
With this in mind, making access to used electric cars is critical, which is why calls are being made for the Government in England to introduce an interest-free used electric car loan.
As PCP and company car leasing contracts come to an end, more electric cars will be coming to the market over the next few years, increasing supplies of used models.
An interest-free loan, similar to the one already in place in Scotland, could help people who would otherwise be priced out of the market.
This call is further underlined by an Electrifying.com survey of over 3,000 people, in which 43 percent of respondents said they would be looking to spend between £20,000 and £35,000 on a new electric car.
Given the lack of choice in this bracket, Electrifying.com is calling on the Government to help hard-hit consumers get into the used electric car market as quickly as possible.
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