Private buyers not getting same EV incentives as fleets
The Government is being urged to step up the pace on electric vehicle incentives for private drivers as the UK car sector warns the switch to EVs is primarily taking place among fleets, not families.
New figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show businesses are twice as likely as consumers to make the switch from petrol or diesel.
Its analysis reveals just 4.6% of car registrations by private buyers in 2020 were for battery electric vehicles (BEVs), compared to 8.7% for fleets and businesses. In total, consumers registered 34,324 BEVs in 2020, compared to 73,881 corporate registrations.
The SMMT adds that financial incentives to go electric are greater and longer-lasting for businesses and company car drivers currently receive stronger and longer-lasting motivation; despite last week’s cut to the Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG).
In contrast, consumer acceptance of BEVs remains low because of concerns over affordability, charge point availability and infrastructure reliability. Around one in three households have no dedicated off-street parking, leaving them disproportionately dependent on public charging points – of which around one in 10 are out of order at any given time.
In response, SMMT has unveiled a blueprint to deliver greater retail uptake – calling for government and stakeholders to prioritise overcoming consumer concerns through fairer incentives and a commitment to a dramatically expanded public charging infrastructure; it warns that there would need to be around 2.3 million public charge points in service by 2030 to provide adequate coverage and tackle range anxiety – meaning more than 700 new charge points would have to be installed every day until the end of the decade.
The call was made today (25 March) as the SMMT hosts its first-ever conference dedicated to electrification.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “While last year’s bumper uptake of electric vehicles is to be welcomed, it’s clear this has been an electric revolution primarily for fleets, not families.”
He added: “To deliver an electric revolution that is affordable, achievable and accessible to all by 2030, however, government and other stakeholders must put ordinary drivers at the heart of policy and planning. We need incentives that tempt consumers, infrastructure that is robust and charging points that provide reassurance, so that zero-emission mobility will be possible for everyone, regardless of income or location.”