Concerned Automakers Urge Immediate UK Assistance to Revitalize Electric Vehicle Demand

Concerned Automakers Urge Immediate UK Assistance to Revitalize Electric Vehicle Demand
Credit: connectedworld

London (Parliament News) – Car manufacturers call for urgent action to boost electric vehicle sales, as private consumer demand declines despite fleet sales growth. Suggestions include tax cuts, incentives, and expanding charging infrastructure.

Car manufacturers have urged for pressing action to reignite the switch to electric vehicles after-sales stats showed a slowing market among ordinary motorists for battery-powered cars.

While overall UK registrations increased by 1% in April year-on-year to 134,000, the growth was entirely caused by fleet sales, with private consumer sales down by almost 18% on last year.

Why Are Manufacturers Concerned About Electric Vehicle Sales?

Manufacturers are shocked by the stalling sales increase in battery electric vehicles, which in the first four months of 2024 have only grown market share by 0.3% from the exact period in 2023 to 15.7%, despite the quick uptake in previous years.

While the industry anticipates the figure to climb this year, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) stated that BEV sales would be below administration targets of 22% of all new cars, and called for efforts to “re-enthuse” buyers, including tax cuts, motivations and more chargers.

What Incentives Are Needed to Encourage Electric Vehicle Adoption?

The SMMT stated incentives had driven the take-up of battery electric vehicles in the fleet market, and similar activities for private buyers would accelerate the transition. It suggested a halving of VAT on new battery-powered cars, and adjusting the threshold for taxing luxury cars. The additional “expensive car” levy spent in vehicle excise duty is due to apply to electric cars from April 2025, which are still extremely more costly than petrol equivalents despite manufacturers’ commitments to drive down production costs.

The industry body stated more work was needed to install charge points nationwide to increase consumer confidence – the UK still has one common charger for every 35 plug-in cars, despite record numbers of facilities last year and at the start of 2024.

How Is Government Policy Impacting Electric Vehicle Sales?

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, stated: “The absence of government incentives for private buyers is having a significant effect. Although attractive deals on EVs are in place, manufacturers cannot support the mass market transition single-handedly. Temporarily cutting VAT, dining EVs as fiscally mainstream, not luxury vehicles, and taking measures to instil consumer confidence in the charge point web will drive the market growth on which Britain’s net zero ambition depends.”

The government introduced a mandate last September for 22% of carmakers’ sales in 2024 to be zero-emission vehicles but also expanded the deadline for a ban on the deal of new fossil fuel cars until 2035. A grant system for private buyers of EVs was ended in 2022.

Are Price Discounts Effective in Promoting Electric Vehicles?

Car dealers quoted the SMMT concerns. Ian Plummer, commercial director of Auto Trader, stated EVs were typically 35% more special than traditionally fuelled petrol and diesel models, adding: “The discounts we’ve noticed manufacturers offer to incentivise consumers into latest electric cars seems to be working … That stated, we’ll need to see even more price action to achieve mass electric adoption.”

Lisa Watson, director of sales at Close Bros Motor Finance stated: “Manufacturers may have cause for consideration that the number of new petrol vehicles registered persists to outdo the sales of battery electric vehicle registrations, bringing into strong focus the work the UK government needs to do to improve inadequate infrastructure such as charging points and allay motorist concerns to encourage adoption.”

Federica Calabrò

Federica Calabrò is a journalist at Parliament News, She is covering Business and General World News. She is a native of Naples, commenced her career as a teller at Poste Italiane before following her passion for dance. Graduating in classical dance, she showcased her talents with two entertainment companies, enchanting audiences throughout Italy. Presently, Federica serves as the general secretary at the Allianz Bank Financial Advisors financial promotion center in Naples. In this capacity, she manages office forms, provides document assistance for Financial Advisors, oversees paperwork for the back office, and ensures smooth customer reception and assistance at the front office. Outside her professional obligations, Federica indulges in her passion for writing in her leisure time.