Fresh calls for EV incentives

There have been renewed calls from industry for the government to offer further incentives for private buyers to switch to electric vehicles.

This comes after figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders revealed that although overall EV sales were up by 10.7% in April, growth was driven exclusively by fleets with sales to private buyers falling by 21.9%.

Sue Robinson, chief executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), said: “Electric vehicle sales continue to demonstrate moderate growth, but fleet remains the driving force behind new car registrations, with private demand languishing in recent months.

“Whilst the automotive sector has demonstrated its robustness this year and is showcasing signs of returning to pre-pandemic levels, there are still issues which need to be addressed. Namely, year to date electric vehicle market share remains only 0.3% higher when compared to the same point last year. With the government disappointingly ruling out introducing price incentives for electric vehicles last month, NFDA calls on the government to have an urgent rethink, particularly as many OEMs seek to meet ZEV mandate targets for this year and with private demand having declined in recent months.”

Meanwhile, Ian Plummer, commercial director of Auto Trader, suggested that EV prices were still too high for most households despite manufacturers offer consumer incentives.

He said: “Even though average EV prices are only up seven per cent since 2020, they are typically 35% dearer than traditionally fuelled petrol and diesel models. The discounts we’ve seen manufacturers offer to incentivise consumers into new electric cars seem to be working, with BEV registrations up on 2023. That said, we’ll need to see even more price action to achieve mass electric adoption.”