Car buyers should be encouraged to purchase a used electric vehicle to help improve air quality and drive adoption of the technology.
Experts told a car dealership that incentives – like the one seen in Scotland where car buyers can access interest-free loans to buy used electric vehicles up to £ 20,000 – should be rolled out across the country. UK.
New electric vehicles get a government subsidy of £ 3,000, but currently there is little incentive for people to buy a used model, despite the fact that the cost of entry is often more affordable.
Tom Barnard, Editor-in-Chief of Electrifying.com, said an interest-free loan would give buyers a real reason to switch to electricity when buying second-hand.
He said: “Being able to access interest-free financing for five years would make the price of low-emission cars comparable to gasoline or diesel for many motorists, even before lower running costs were even lower. taken into account.
“The strengthening of the second-hand market also has the effect of improving residual values, which makes financing new electric cars cheaper.
“Any incentive that encourages the adoption of electric vehicles is something that will be applauded by anyone who wants to improve air quality.”
Barnard added that the “higher purchase cost” of electric vehicles is one of the only factors that deters people from going electric.
The Auto Trader classifieds marketplace has seen the number of electric car ads seen on its site triple in three years.
The website’s business manager, Ian Plummer, said despite this interest, his research points to a “richer demographic” of buyers currently considering electricity.
He told a car dealership, “Driving the conversion from review to large-scale purchasing will require a significant financial incentive available to everyone, and not limited to new cars.”
Plummer explained that the average cost of a used electric vehicle by volume is almost £ 20,000, with high-end electric vehicles costing around £ 45,000 in the second-hand market.
He said: “It’s no surprise that two in three consumers say that upfront spending, along with infrastructure, remains a major barrier to adoption.
“We strongly encourage Westminster to review the success of the Scottish Government’s loan for low carbon transport and to carefully consider the positive contribution it could make to the achievement of its Road to 2030 goals.”
And he’s not the only one who thinks the government should take note.
Jim Holder, editorial director at Haymarket Automotive, said the cost of electric vehicles was certainly a barrier to entry for owning electric cars.
He told the car dealership: “The government has set its line in the sand when it comes to electrification, and if it is to achieve its goal, anything it can do to encourage adoption should be considered.
“The advantage here is clearly that he can look at the data from the Scottish leaders and assess whether the program has been successful – from there the decision should be straightforward.
“Above all, cost is one of the barriers that comes up time and time again when we ask buyers in the marketplace to find out what is preventing them from switching to an electric vehicle.”
He also noted that consumers who buy electric vehicles could also have “the greatest impact” on reducing emissions by removing drivers from polluting models.
Steve Fowler, editor of Auto Express, agrees that the incentives for used electric vehicle buyers will help more consumers make the switch.
He said: “If the UK is serious about the widespread adoption of electric vehicles, then incentives must play a crucial role.
“They have already proven themselves to play an important role in the huge growth in sales of new electric vehicles, but additional incentives to persuade used car buyers to make the switch are also needed to help more motorists. to benefit from the low operating costs – if not purchase costs – that electric cars can provide.
Halfords also believes that incentives in the electric vehicle market, including used models, would have a positive impact.
Andy Randall, Managing Director of Halfords Autocentres, said: “Our research indicates that a more targeted approach to electric vehicle incentives may be needed if the whole country is to join the green transport revolution.
“We believe this should include financial support for purchases of used electric vehicles, in the form of interest-free loans or grants.”
Halfords’ analysis in partnership with the RAND research group also revealed a regional disparity in the adoption of electric vehicles.
Hull, Peterborough and Plymouth have the lowest very low emission private vehicle adoption rates of the 27 UK cities surveyed. Their share in the total fleet is between only 0.13% and 0.17%.
The London boroughs of Wandsworth and Barnet have the highest figures at 1.60% and 1.42% respectively. The study also found a correlation between average household income and owning private electric vehicles.