New research from CarGurus suggests the recently announced cuts to electric vehicle (EV) grants are at odds with the steps most likely to persuade drivers considering switching to alternatively-fuelled vehicles.
The UK government recently announced grant reductions for electric car buyers from £3,000 to £2,500. This is a further reduction from the £4,500 offered this time last year and the new grant scheme also decreases the price cap for eligible vehicles from £50,000 to £35,000.
The grant cuts are a concern for electric car manufacturers too. Peugeot, Citroen, Kia and Vauxhall are among the brands who have announced price reductions to ensure their models remain eligible for the plug-in car grant.
The research also found the changes most likely to convince drivers to move to zero-emissions motoring would be tax incentives and rebates. Respondents also said they would like to see more charging stations in their area.
Recent freezes in fuel duty for drivers of petrol and diesel vehicles are similarly unlikely to expedite electrification. The survey results indicated that if fuel prices reached £2 per litre, a third (34 percent) of drivers would be more likely to consider an EV. If prices climbed to £3 per litre, over half (55 percent) of drivers would be more inclined to go electric.
This latest cut to the plug-in car grant for new cars could result in even higher numbers of prospective EV buyers turning to the used car market. CarGurus research also revealed that nearly 41 percent of buyers planning to buy an EV in the next decade would consider buying it as used.
The used EV market still offers many of the financial incentives linked to driving electric including their low running costs and cheaper servicing. CarGurus now have a dedicated used EV hub to help potential buyers.
Chris Knapman, editor at CarGurus UK, said: “There’s no doubt that the rate of adoption of EVs will need to accelerate if the Government is to meet its ambition for the UK to be a world leader in transitioning to zero-emissions motoring. As such it is a surprise to see that the grant for purchasing new EVs has been reduced yet again, particularly when our own research shows these grants are so important in the quest to drive EV adoption.
“While the reduction in the plug-in grant might impact the sales of new electric cars, those keen to explore EV motoring will find that the used market has more choice than ever. To complement the extensive used EV listings from top-rated dealers on CarGurus, we’ve complied everything somebody considering the purchase of a used EV might need. This includes detailed reviews of the most popular models, advice around home charging, information on battery degradation, and lots more.”