EVs already at ‘tipping point of acceptance’, says Shoreham Vehicle Auctions

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The electric car market in the UK has already reached a ‘tipping point of acceptance’ according to Shoreham Vehicle Auctions (SVA), as used prices and demand continues to grow based on greater dealer and consumer knowledge of emission-free and low emission motoring.

Alex Wright, SVA’s managing director

Alex Wright, SVA’s managing director

According to SVA’s managing director Alex Wright, along with other insights issued by Connected Places Catapult, fleets are key to future adoption of electric and plug-in vehicles, but only with a healthy used market place and strong residual values.

In addition, Wright says plug-in hybrids are a major distraction for fleets, which he says generally choose them for their lower benfit-in-kind tax rates, but that most aren’t used as the manufacturer intended with the majority going through auction without ever having had their charge cables unwrapped from new – indicating they’re not contributing to lowering emissions or improving urban air quality.

The big change in acceptance, however, is coming from changing perceptions at dealer and consumer level, with education about the benefits of new and used cars now available. Dealers have built their confidence when selling a used EV, which in turn has given consumers greater confidence in buying one, Wright says.

In addition, a critical shift in sales perceptions is happening, whereby a dealer is focusing more on a customer’s overall mobility needs rather than trying to sell them a car for a two-week holiday each year, in addition to rental companies helping business and individuals by providing flexible hire for drivers.

“EVs need a used market that is alive and prospering. That’s why we have seen greater acceptance during 2018 and into 2019 which has boosted residuals. Companies have worked hard on education, including the SVA team’s training courses run in partnership with the Energy Saving Trust,” explained Wright.

“Leasing companies and finance companies can now underwrite EVs confident of a vehicle’s value in three-to-four years’ time which makes monthly rentals more competitive for companies and drivers alike.

“The next step is for the charging infrastructure to respond to market needs and provide a more reliable joined-up network of chargers across the country,” he added.

“The used market for EVs has more than quadrupled in size since 2016 from 6,000 to 25,000 in 2018. It’s exciting to be in the used market at this time and we look forward to continue to support dealers in keeping pace with understanding new technologies and how to sell used EVs,” said Wright.

The electric van market has also started to grow with low mileage business users accepting the benefit of running a used van with very low running costs, with the Nissan e-NV200 leading the way.

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Jonathan Musk

Jonathan turned to motoring journalism in 2013 having founded, edited and produced Autovolt - one of the UK's leading electric car publications. He has also written and produced books on both Ferrari and Hispano-Suiza, while working as an international graphic designer for the past 15 years. As the automotive industry moves towards electrification, Jonathan brings a near-unrivalled knowledge of EVs and hybrids to Fleet World Group.

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