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19 October 21 Press releases

The electric grants are welcome, but Ministers must consider how that investment is targeted


Our Commercial Director, Ian Plummer, comments on the government's latest steps to drive electric adoption

“The £620 million investment in grants for electric vehicles and street charging points is welcome, but Ministers should consider how that investment is targeted.  Our data shows that interest in electric vehicles is coming almost exclusively from wealthier postcodes. The comparatively high up-front cost of EVs is proving to be a massive barrier for people on average or below average incomes. The Government and industry simply has to grasp this nettle if it is to supercharge mass adoption. That might mean introducing some kind of means testing. Incentives are needed to bridge the gap between traditionally fuelled cars and EVs for those who simply cannot afford the “green premium”. The recent petrol crisis had a big impact on interest in electric vehicles; we saw a huge spike in views on our marketplace and it’s persisting.  People are very receptive, but at the moment price is a problem and non-targeted incentives may not make much of  a dent in that. The irony is that many EVs are actually cheaper to own than their petrol equivalents, but it can take three years or more before that benefit becomes apparent. At Auto Trader we’re developing a feature that will help people understand the total cost of vehicle ownership.

“The importance of addressing affordability becomes all the more apparent when you consider the bigger picture, especially the used car market which is incredibly hot. Each month we take a basket of prices on the Auto Trader marketplace and a number of other sources including retailers’ and manufacturers’ websites, to calculate the average price of a used car. The latest data shows the average is £19,018, up almost 24 per cent year on year. In fact the average increased 0.6 per cent in just the last week.”

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