Changes to infrastructure and improved technology will accelerate sales of electric cars

Vehicles at the new Gridserve all-electric forecourt in Braintree, Essex.

Vehicles at the new Gridserve all-electric forecourt in Braintree, Essex. - Credit: Press Association

As more manufacturers introduce new electric cars with new batteries capable of longer distances between charges and new superchargers appear on forecourts, retail shopping centres and car parks, sales will grow.

Many manufacturers are also committing to an all-electric car line-up, some like Jaguar as early as 2025, the choice for consumers will reduce.

Government will continue to encourage the changeover with a combination of incentives for electric and penalties for cars producing emissions, particularly in cities in the UK. 

Gridserve have opened their first electric-only forecourt in Essex with space for 36 vehicles to charge at once and plan to open more than 100 such facilities around the UK within the next five years. One is under consideration in Exeter.

The Gridserve all-electric forecourt in Braintree, Essex.

The Gridserve all-electric forecourt in Braintree, Essex. - Credit: Gridserve

Already in the first two months of 2021 petrol and diesel car sales have fallen 45 per cent and 61 per cent respectively against a fall in the new car market of 36 per cent overall.

In the same period sales of pure electric, plug in electric hybrids, and mild hybrid petrol electric cars rose by over 50 per cent.

Although this is still only 23 per cent of the market, this will continue to grow at a pace as more new products arrive and prices become more competitive.

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Business users will also move more into electric vehicles as tax incentives for the business and the company car driver are now extremely attractive.

The benefit in kind for a pure electric car is zero for the next two years and already many company car drivers are making the change.

By 2030, this will produce a major challenge for the Government. It is estimated they will lose some 200 million in lost fuel and vehicle taxes this year and this will increase. This means it is likely there will be a national road charging system to replace the current motoring tax regime which is considered to be too complex and inefficient.

Road charging schemes are likely to appear from 2025 before becoming national in 2030. 

Meanwhile, consumers will look forward to the return to showrooms reopening which is currently not programmed until April 12.

March is normally the largest single month of the year with the change of registration plate, but because of the lockdown this will not happen this year.

Most of the national franchise dealers are digitally open for business which means you can talk to your sales advisor online or on the telephone and collect or receive delivery at home but, of course, some customers will prefer to wait and visit the showroom in April to take a test-drive and finalise their deal.

It is still advisable to talk to your sales advisor and perhaps reserve  your new car to ensure you get the model and specification you want.

There is no doubt, as happened last year, there will be some pent-up demand and there will a shortage of some models once we are all back to work.

It is best to keep in contact with your dealer if you are unsure what to do and they will be happy to give advice.

The van market continues to grow as business prepares for the return to work.

Vaccinations are still going at a rate better than expected and cases are continuing to fall so continue to take care and stay safe. 

Keep smiling and I look forward to next week.