Electric Vehicles In The Headlines - Again!
(Posted on 08/05/19)
Electric vehicles have hit the headlines once again as the latest Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) figures showed a 12.7% increase in alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFV) last month.
Just over 10,000 vehicles left motor showrooms in April with petrol-electric hybrids remaining the most popular choice, up 31.1% to 6,810 units. Battery-electric cars also saw an increase in units up from 929 to 1,517.
As the popularity of electric vehicles continues to grow in the sector, diesel registrations dropped again, down -9.4% while petrol fell by -3.0%.
However, it wasn’t all positive news from the AFV sector as plug-in hybrids, capable of producing zero emissions, experienced a sharp fall, down -34.4% in April and -20.4% year-to-date.
The SMMT believes this is due to the removal of upfront purchase incentives introduced by the Government.
At the end of 2018 it scrapped grants for new plug-in hybrids with subsidies on all-electric cars cut from £4,500 to £3,500.
Cash incentives had been in place since 2011 to help promote more environmentally friendly cars and it seems that the move has affected buying decisions.
Despite the reduction in the grant allowance, manufacturers are continuing to develop new ultra-low and zero emission cars, with 40 plug-in models now available in showrooms, and more than 20 extra models expected to arrive this year alone.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “While it’s great to see buyers respond to the growing range of pure electric cars on offer, they still only represent a tiny fraction of the market and are just one of a number of technologies that will help us on the road to zero. Industry is working hard to deliver on this shared ambition, providing ever cleaner cars to suit every need.
“We need policies that help get the latest, cleanest vehicles on the road more quickly and support market transition for all drivers. This includes investment in infrastructure and long-term incentives to make new technologies as affordable as possible.”
The news comes as the RAC announced plans to roll out a mobile electric vehicle (EV) charger across its patrol fleet.
The charger will give stranded out-of-charge cars a power boost from one of its rescue vans and the first six Ford Transit Custom patrol vans equipped with the new EV generators will head out in June in London, Birmingham and Manchester.
The charger will provide a top-up roadside charge which will be enough to help a stranded EV travel to a nearby charge point.
The new EV Boost system uses a generator permanently fitted to the RAC van’s 1.9 litre Euro 6 diesel engine. This passes power through an invertor to the electric vehicle.
RAC head of roadside rescue innovation Chris Millward said: “Our solution enables our patrols to help stranded EV drivers at the roadside with a power boost, equivalent to a top-up from a fuel can for a petrol or diesel car, to get them on their way again.
“With nothing like it on the market the real challenge was to develop a mobile EV-charger system which is compact and light enough to fit into our normal patrol vehicles without compromising on space so we can still carry all the normal parts and tools to help our patrols continue to fix four out of five vehicles at the roadside.
“The number of electric vehicles on the road will grow rapidly in the next few years, in particular we are seeing increased interest and take-up from business and fleet managers, so it is critical that we have an effective mobile power source for these cars in an emergency giving EV-owners complete peace of mind.”
- Plug-in electric vehicles emitting less than 50g/km of CO2 are subject to company car tax. Current rates are 13% for 2018-19, and 16% for 2019-20
- Find out what grants are available for electric vehicles here https://www.gov.uk/plug-in-car-van-grants
- Contact Fleetsauce for more information on electric vehicles and to discuss the latest lease offers on AFVs www.fleetsauce.co.uk
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