Electric vehicle uptake is behind schedule to meet Government targets

Electric vehicle uptake will have to increase dramatically in the next few years if Government targets towards banning pure combustion engine sales in 2030 are to be achieved.

Analysis by online car marketplace Auto Trader indicates that EVs need to account for 11 per cent of sales this year and 54 per cent by 2026, but despite growing impressively from five per cent at this point last year, they only have an 8.4 per cent market share so far in 2021.

To give an idea of the scale of growth required, sales will need a near seven-fold increase in the next five years to get back on track.

Top 10 EVs on Auto Trader - September 21
(Auto Trader)

On a more positive note, the site says that EV advert views have seen a huge jump in the past 12 months, going from 3.8 per cent of website traffic in August 2020 to 14.3 per cent in August 2021.

Behavioural analysis indicates that these views typically come with a low intent to buy, though.

Ian Plummer, Auto Trader’s commercial director, said: “There’s no question that the market for electric cars is in the best shape it’s ever been in.

“We’re seeing more choice, and significantly more advertising and marketing spend from manufacturers promoting electric models, and as a result, we’re seeing more sales too.

“However, in the context of 2030, the market isn’t where it needs to be, and we’re going to need a greater commitment from the Government and all of us within the industry to inject much needed pace into its Road to Zero race.”

Auto Trader recommends three ways to improve sales. These include more incentives to bring a lower purchase price to consumers, more investment into the public charging infrastructure, and more information to help consumers make a knowledgeable transition to EVs.

On the latter point, research conducted by the online marketplace last month revealed that total cost of ownership was the most important factor for buyers when looking for a new car.

It suggested better communication that EVs tend to save owners about £100 per 1,000 miles over a three-year period could help encourage more to make the switch.