The electric car market is growing quickly. By the end of September 2020, there were over 164,100 pure electric cars on British roads, and more than 373,600 plug-in models – which includes plug-in hybrids. Between January and November 2020, 86,291 pure-electric cars were registered – a significant rise on the 37,850 registered during the same period in 2019.
These numbers seem promising for those considering investing in the electric car market. But do these top-line figures tell the whole story?
Are costs prohibitive to consumers?
Electric vehicle sales may be rising, but are they affordable enough to become mainstream? Investors Chronicle believes that the upfront cost of an electric vehicle could be prohibitive to most, citing research from Deloitte’s Global Automotive Consumer Survey which states that the cost of an electric car would have to decrease by £20,000 to encourage drivers of petrol or diesel cars to switch. They do state that cheaper models are available – like the £12,000 Renault Twizy, but is its 56 mile maximum range enough?
Investment in infrastructure
However, it appears that, with the amount of investment into production and infrastructure, things could change. In January, the Labour party called for the government to invest in the UK automotive sector to facilitate electric car production, while in early February, the government announced funding for a greater number of electric charging points. The industry has also pinpointed other areas that need more focus, including road taxes and other charges, clarifying the role of local authorities, and regulation around things like charging.
While electric vehicles still remain predominantly the domain of the wealthy, thanks to their high upfront costs, things are changing. With the UK working towards its net zero emissions target, could electric vehicles be heading closer to the mainstream?
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