By Debbie Holden 01 Apr 2019 5 min read

Auto Trader predicts 2019 will be pivotal for electric vehicles


71% of car owners have said they are considering an electric vehicle (EV) as their next car, according to research by Auto Trader.

The Auto Trader market report contains nationally represented consumer research (sample of more than 3,000 UK adults).

The figure showed a 25% increase from September 2017.

As reported by AM Online, there will be more than 80 new generation vehicles launched in 2019, 31 of which will be plug-in vehicles.

The report also suggested that half of car owners expect to own their own alternative fuel vehicle over the next three years.

The report did however highlight the traditional barriers affecting mass adoption.

56% of consumers who said they were not interested in an EV said it was due to poor infrastructure, while 46% said it was the upfront expense. 29% said it was a lack of understanding about EVs.

There is still confusion surrounding costs for an EV. 78% of respondents said it is difficult to work out the running costs for an EV.

Ian Plummer, Auto Trader manufacturer and agency director, told AM Online: “There’s going to be a considerable ramp up in electric vehicle product.

“Ranges have doubled and you’re now likely to feel confident that you can complete any journey you’re going to need to do the majority of the time.

“However, pricing is still a major hurdle.”

Plummer believes price parity with ICE is essential for EVs to take off.

He said: “If you look at the typical cost of a battery in an EV it’s around £8,000 to produce. Getting hold of the materials to actually build the battery is also a key issue for OEMs.

“An ICE is between £1,500 to £2,000. That cost is generally passed on to the consumer today.

“OEMs make some great looking cars but they don’t necessarily make the pricing and costs easy to understand. The finance solutions for EVs aren’t usually promoted as well.

“As an industry, we need to make it easier to work out the total cost of ownership for EVs.”

Plummer said: “Price parity is the real kick-off point for mass adoption. We think that will start to happen by 2025.

“If that parity is there we think the sale of new EVs will overtake petrol and diesel by 2030. Since sales and the appetite for EVs is growing, the only real problem getting there is uncertainty.

“There needs to be more clarity on cost of ownership from OEMs and a longer term, clearer strategy from Government.”

There is an education role to play and part of that will be making EV cost of ownership clearer on Auto Trader.
Plummer said: “We’re working on this at the moment.

“It would be great if a consumer could see their upfront monthly cost and then add what they’re likely to do in terms of mileage and be able to compare fuel costs and maintenance against ICE models.”


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