Electric Vehicles: Market Update24th February 2020
The Silence Of Zero-Emission Electric Driving Is Fast Drowning The Roar Of Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) Cars. And This Is Only The Beginning!
The UK electric car sector could not have hoped for a better start to 2020. Since early January, there has been an unprecedented flow of encouraging news for the electric vehicle market. And we expect this to continue as we progress through 2020.
In early January, the Society of Motor Manufacturers And Traders (SMMT) released the new car registration update for December 2019 and the year-to-date performance. As expected, the update was not good news for diesel cars, with a continuing downward spiral in registrations. The diesel car market share was lower by 21.8% for the year i.e. another significant yearly decrease.
However, electric cars and in particular, battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) performed very well. New car registrations for BEVs had increased by 144%. New car registrations for January 2020 echoed the December 2019 trend. BEV registrations were up an impressive 203.9% in January 2020. We expect BEVs to continue its robust upward trajectory in 2020 and beyond.
Electric vehicles have continued to steal international headlines, with the global mainstream media fascinated by all things EV! The unveiling of the all-electric Tesla Cybertruck is an example of the global interest in the electric vehicle sector. More recent headlines like, Bill Gates acquiring the all-electric Porsce Taycan, the first BEV from the famed luxury automotive German manufacturer, Porsche, is indeed good news for electric cars.
There is also a sense of increased consumer confidence in pure electric cars. The latest line-up of BEVs have an emission-free range of 200 miles (WLTP) on a single charge, with many EVs closer to 300 miles. Range anxiety, seems to be fast fading as a stumbling block to large-scale EV adoption. However, despite the increase in EV battery range, we in the UK need to continue to execute the deployment of public charging infrastructure, with a greater focus on rapid charging infrastructure. According to ZAPMAP, there are 30,740 connectors, 17,697 devices at 10,965 locations (February 2020).
The ambiguity over the current plug-in car grant (PiCG) incentive has also been making news. There is no clarity as of today, on the future of the PiCG incentive, post March 2020. We at e-zoomed have been very vocal in encouraging the UK government to adopt a long-term and stable electric car incentive framework, to ensure the successful migration to battery-electric vehicles. We believe that the sector will need subsidies in place for at least another 24 months. In the meantime, we are encouraging potential EV buyers to take advantage of the current incentive offered i.e. up to £3,500.
The recent announcement and the ongoing consultation process in relation to the ban of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars is a significant and appositive step to emission-free driving. The UK government intends to move the ban forward to 2035, but potentially, it could be as early as 2032. We at e-zoomed applaud the UK government in taking leadership in the migration to electric driving.
Also encouraging is the line-up of concept, prototype and production electric cars. Some of these include:
- The all-electric Sony Vision S concept car
- The Lexus LF-30 concept car
- The all-electric BMW i4
- The all-electric Lotus Evija Hypercar
- Nissan electric SUV
The demand for EVs in the UK is real and strong. If the recent bookings for the all-electric Volkswagen ID.3 is an indicator, then, automotive manufacturers in the EV sector certainly have an exciting future. Pre-orders for the ID.3 resulted in a sell-out in two days.
There is no doubt that the narrative on electric vehicles will only resound louder. However, to achieve large-scale EV migration, much work lies ahead for all stakeholders participating in the global EV sector. There is no time or luxury for complacency.
We need to immediately:
- Institute a long-term and attractive plug-in car grant framework
- Increase EV production volumes
- Increase rapid charging infrastructure
- Increase on-street EV charging in urban centres
- Continue to increase and enforce legislation to curb air pollution, in particular, the ban of polluting diesel vehicles (cars and vans) in city centres
For those of you, who have yet to experience the thrill of electric driving, I have only one comment. You should have done it yesterday. I strongly encourage all drivers in the UK to try zero-emission driving. Simply rent an EV for a weekend get away. You will never look back! It is the e-zoomed way!
Ashvin is the founder of e-zoomed, a leading electric vehicle platform and a partner of Energenie. Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Prior to that he was an investment banker with JPMorgan. He was awarded an MBA from the London Business School in 1998.