Electric cars: Ford UK detail motoring options for drivers
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Experts have warned cutting the price of a policy risks leaving electric cars as the “reserve of older, wealthier consumers”. Most families would have hoped to switch to the new models at the end of the decade with a new 2030 new car sales ban coming into effect on petrol and diesel models.
However, with most electric cars up to 20 percent more expensive than petrol and diesel models and little available second hand, the new deduction could be a dilemma for those in low incomes.
Erin Baker, Editorial Director at AutoTrader said cutting the grant was a detrimental step in supporting consumers” from the outset.
She has warned families will be left with “less choice” and could be effectively priced off the roads.
The new grant will only be offered to “affordable” cars priced below £35,000 but Ms Baker has warned this means only a handful of models will be eligible for any reductions.
She said: “Whilst we welcome the Government’s focus on electric vehicle uptake, today’s announcement to cut the grants available for plug-in cars and vans seems a detrimental step in supporting consumers on their electric vehicle journey.
“In two years, we’ve seen three times the number of consumers view electric vehicle adverts, and one in seven visitors to Auto Trader now look at an electric vehicle.
“However, despite increased interest we know that cost and confusion are two big barriers for any consumer looking to move to electric cars.
“Electric vehicles are typically 15-20 percent more expensive than petrol and diesel equivalents – in fact fewer than 25 new models available today are under £35,000 and that’s for basic specifications without additional add-ons.
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“The result is a grant that is only addressing a small number of cars in a market where consumers already have less choice.
“Specifically, the grant will only really apply to smaller cars, leaving families and those needing a larger car without financial support from the government.
“As things stand, we risk leaving electric cars to be the reserve of older, wealthier consumers who are both prepared and able to pay the ‘green premium’ prices they demand today.”
The Government claims the new funding measures will ensure the budget lasts long ber and is available to more drivers.
They said although discounts were ending for higher-priced vehicles, these were typically bought by drivers who could afford to switch with taxpayer subsidies.
They said the number of electric car models priced below £35,000 has increased by almost 50 percent since 2019.
This included almost half the models available on the market including the popular Hyundai Kiona and MG ZS EV.
However, Ms Baker has urged the Government to look at the need for “consumer incentives” to drive forward uptake of the new models.
She said “major steps forward” were needed with the petrol and diesel new car sales ban just years away.
She added: “We urge the Government to look at other countries and their approach to consumer incentives and also to provide consumers with the information they need to make an informed choice in a confusing market.
“The roadmap needs to be communicated to car buyers with several years of forward visibility to provide consistency and confidence.
“We’ve got a long road ahead if we’re to meet the government’s 2030 target for electric vehicle uptake.
“We need to take major steps forward today to address these pressing issues.”
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