Calls for more action to be taken as only 25 percent of EVs go to private buyers

New figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), only a quarter of new electric cars are being bought by private motorists.

The study found that, whilst EVs are set to account for nearly 18 percent of the new car market in 2023, 75 percent of models sold have gone to fleet buyers.

Mike Hawes, president of the SMMT, reassured private buyers that making the switch from petrol or diesel to electric is no longer a gamble.

He explained: โ€œWe are entering a new phase in the UKโ€™s EV transition, in which Britain can, and should, be a leader.

โ€œWe have the industry, the love of new technology and the scale to succeed. Government has recently demonstrated its commitment to EV manufacturing in the UK and that commitment must be extended to the consumer.โ€

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According to the SMMT, one new electric vehicle is registered in the UK every minute, a 21-fold increase compared to 2018.

However, many private buyers say that they have yet to buy an electric car due to fears surrounding the public charging infrastructure and the affordability of the models.

Whilst nine out of 10 private motorists who own an electric car say that they will never go back to a petrol model, 84 percent also said that they have access to a private charger, making replenishing the battery more straightforward.

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Mike added that the Government must continue to support locally based companies as they transition to electric ahead of plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel-powered cars and vans in the UK by 2030.

He continued: โ€œWith a new – and still to be finalised โ€“ Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate due to revolutionise the market in just over 100 days, supply must be matched by demand.

โ€œA comprehensive package of measures would encourage households across the UK to go electric now, boosting an industry slowly recovering from the pandemic and delivering benefits for the Exchequer, society, and the global environment.โ€

To encourage more private drivers to buy an electric car, the SMMT are calling on the Government to reduce the VAT on new electric cars in a bid to make prices more even with petrol models.

In addition, they are encouraging the Government to increase the threshold for Vehicle Excise Duty, meaning motorists would see car taxes lowered, and decrease VAT on public charging by five percent.

However, the organisation also wishes to see mandates set for new public vehicle chargers to ensure there are enough ahead of the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars.

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