By Paul Homewood
EV sales are have been steadily rising in the last few years. Last year, BEV (Battery Only) registrations totalled 267,000, 16% of all cars, 77,000 up on 2021, (the graph also includes hybrids).
Nevertheless at that rate of increase, BEV sales will only be about 900,000 come 2030, around half of all sales.
But is this increase sustainable? If we look away from the overall numbers, and zoom in on which models are being sold, we get a much changed picture:
The Teslas that account for a fifth of all BEV sales cost £44,990 and £42,990 respectively, based on RRP. The Niro and ID.3 are only marginally cheaper at £36795 and £39,254, and the Polestar , BMW and Audi are dearer than the Tesla.
Only two cars on the list come in at under £30,000 – the Leaf and Mini at £28,995 and £29,000, and these only account for 6% of EV sales. This Top 10 list accounts for nearly half of all BEV sales.
Quite simply, most of the cars on the list are totally unaffordable for the vast majority of drivers, as arguably are the Leaf and electric Mini. BEVs have not yet managed to break into the mass market.
A look at the Best Sellers list shows where the market lies:
Ignoring the Tesla, the dearest car on the list is the Kuga, priced at £30,755. The Qashqai and Corsa retail at £26,405 and £18,065 respectively. There is absolutely no sign at the moment that owners of any of these cars are going to replace them with an EV. Part of the reason is, of course, the cost. But a major factor is also the impracticability of BEVs for most drivers,
The sort of driver who can afford 50 grand for an Audi Q4 will very likely have a second car in the garage for longer trips.
The simple reality is that there is only limited demand for the upmarket cars currently dominating the EV sector; and many of these sales are for company cars, bought mainly for tax reasons.
Until BEVs can break into the mass market sector, it is hard to see how they can ever be more than a niche product. (At least, that is, until proper cars are banned!)