If the government doesn’t push more drivers to take up an electric vehicle (EV), motorists could lose a possible £9 billion in savings.
That’s according to research by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), claiming that if policy on new EVs is slow, the second-hand market for electric cars will be held back.
There will be 2.1 million fewer used small and mid-sized EVs available on the market by 2033 on current track, compared with what’s considered ‘high’ sales projections.
This is for the Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Mandate, which will see carmakers increase the amount of new zero-emission vehicles they sell.
The current proposed level is a 22% proportion of all sales being electric by 2024, rising each year to 38% by 2027.
By 2030, all new petrol and diesel sales will be banned, with 100% of sales needing to be zero-emission by 2035.
Comparing these targets with a proportion of 34% electric sales next year and 60% in 2027, the ECIU claims many more EVs would be available on the market by the time they replace petrol and diesel in the 2030s.
Small and mid-sized EVs can also save drivers up to £800 annually in running costs, compared with petrol cars – the study states.
If there isn’t a change to the ZEV Mandate and therefore a change in availability of used electric cars, a total of £9 billion would be missed in savings by 2043, the researchers calculated.
Explaining the findings, ECIU’s Colin Walker said: “Even with record high electricity costs driven up by the gas crisis, EVs are still around three times cheaper to run than their petrol equivalents.
“But with 82% of car sales in the UK being second-hand, this market is critical if many more families across the UK are going to be able to access these savings. If government policy on new EVs goes slow, the growth of the second-hand EV market will be held back, potentially consigning families to more expensive motoring.”
On the possibility of a more aggressive ZEV Mandate, a spokesperson from the Department for Transport said: “We’re working closely with industry on the path to all new cars being zero-emission by 2035 and carefully considering any issues raised as we consult on our mandate. More widely, we‘ve put more than £2 billion into helping consumers transition to electric vehicles.”