Deloitte – an audit, consultancy, and financial advisory agency – recently carried out the Global Automotive Consumer Survey. The company surveyed 1,521 motorists in the UK. They discovered that 42 per cent of those aiming to switch to an electric vehicle have a budget of £20,000 or lower. It shows a remarkable shift towards the EV realm with a lot of potential in the EV used car market. However, no one should take that step without an authentic car check in the UK.
Jamie Hamilton, Deloitte’s head of electric vehicles, stated: “The structure of most car financing products means that the lifecycle of a brand-new car entering the used car market is typically around three years.”
“With many UK drivers poised to switch to electric but remaining cost-conscious, we’ll likely see the secondary market for EVs mature over the next few years to attract these consumers.”
The Deciding Factor to Make an EV Shift
According to Hamilton, for drivers to make an EV shift, the biggest deciding factor is the fuel cost. The costlier the fuel will be, the greater the adoption of an electric vehicle. However, electric cars are pricier to buy than their equivalent combustion engine vehicles. Even though customers know the long-term financial perks of EVs, their higher upfront cost dissuade them from making a shift.
Charging Network Issue
Another point of concern for about a quarter of motorists in the UK is the shortage of charging infrastructure. Although the UK authorities doubled the annual fund for electric car charging point about a year ago, that’s still not enough.
“Starting from 2021, the £10 million funds will allow the installation of nearly 3,600 electric vehicle charging point each year, focusing mainly on residential roads.”
“For EVs to integrate further into everyday life, greater accessibility to charging points is still required,” stated Hamilton. “Ensuring a joined-up approach and continued investment in the infrastructure is key to support growing demand.”
The Global Automotive Consumer Survey also threw light on the car owners’ financial woes. It tells that over a quarter (27 per cent) of motorists between 18 and 34 years of age wanted a payment deferral on car finance in 2020.
Assessed against 13 per cent of motorists between 35 and 54 years of age, and merely one per cent of those with 55 and over, that proposed younger motorists were badly hit by the Covid-19, stated Deloitte automotive director Nathan Thompson.
Current Electric Vehicle UK Charging Network
The UK proudly offers over 35,000 charge point connectors at more than 13,000 sites. Interestingly, now we have more public locations to charge an electric vehicle than petrol stations. Last year alone, the UK installed about 7,000 point connectors, most of which were 150-350kW ultra-fast chargers. You can find these electric vehicle charging stations online. You can even get free electric vehicle charging points in supermarkets, shopping plazas, public car parks, and hotels. However, bear in mind, these may not be available all the time, and some might need an in-store purchase.
UK’s First Electric-only Car Charging Station
Making the shift easier to EVs is the UK’s first all-electric car charging station. It started operation in December last year close to Braintree in Essex under the supervision of Gridserve. The firm plans to open at least 100 more stations at different locations across the United Kingdom by 2025.
The charging station houses 36 electric vehicle chargers, offering up to 350kW of power. The company says these chargers can provide 200 miles of range in just 20 minutes. Gridserve has set the starting price of £0.24 per kWh of energy and evaluates a compact EV can juice up from 20 to 80 per cent for less than £10. The company declares they offer the “lowest ultra-high power charging rates on the market today.”
What makes this charging location more environment friendly is using renewable sources. Gridserve has fixed solar panels at the canopies and employs its network of hybrid solar farms to power the chargers. Furthermore, they have a 6MWh battery onsite to help offset the amount of power during peak times. Gridserve says, “on windy winter nights the battery can store enough energy to drive 24,000 miles in electric vehicles the following day.”
As the UK is planning to ban internal combustion engine cars by 2030, the introduction of a dedicated EV charging station is the right step forward.
According to a recent government estimate, we will have more than 10 million electric vehicles on British roads in the next ten years, which will grow to 36 million in the subsequent decade. With the ban on petrol and diesel cars’ sales, EVs’ shift is inevitable. However, the government needs to do more in terms of incentives and the installation of charging stations. The right steps will persuade people to shift to electric vehicles sooner than what different agencies have forecasted.
On the other hand, electric vehicle manufacturers need to offer EVs to meet different customers’ needs in all vehicle segments. They should also work towards lowering electric car prices, probably closer to the ICEs to encourage new car buyers for EVs.