Are we seeing the tipping point for AFVs and EVs?

Consumer appetite for new propulsion technologies is increasing, with AFVs showing a 21% uplift in sales last year and 71% of people considering an EV for their next car.

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With a raft of alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) and electric vehicles (EVs) set to be launched in the next 12 months and the recent Geneva motor show focussing on EVs with new products unveiled from brands including Audi, Fiat, Honda and Nissan, AFVs and EVs have now entered the mainstream.

Consumer appetite for new propulsion technologies is also increasing, with AFVs showing a 21% uplift in sales last year, as well as growth of 27% for used AFVs in the same period. A recent survey of 3,000 people by Auto Trader underscores this with 71% saying that they were considering an EV for their next car, almost triple the amount of consumers agreeing to the same question in 2017. Half of respondents said they expected to own their first AFV within three years. Furthermore, Auto Trader said that searches for AFVs on autotrader.co.uk have grown by over 40%.

Manufacturers are looking to stimulate demand by offering consumers a far greater choice of AFVs and EVs, with over 80 new generation models set to be launched this year.

The increasing desire for new and used AFVs and EVs is undoubtedly positive news for motor retailers and suggests that the market is edging towards a tipping point in terms of the mass adoption of new propulsion technologies. In the short term, however, barriers are curtailing uptake, such as price point and ‘range anxiety’, or fear of running out of battery power.

In response, vehicle manufacturers are making a concerted effort to decrease costs through the development of shared vehicle platforms. For example, Volkswagen’s Modular Electric Drive Matrix (MEB) platform, which forms the basis of the upcoming VW I.D. family, as well as EVs across the Group’s other brands, is also being offered to competitors with the aim of driving down costs through high scale mass production.

In addition, manufacturers are looking to stimulate demand by offering consumers a far greater choice of AFVs and EVs, with over 80 new generation models set to be launched this year, 31 of which are EVs offering much improved range. Although mileage between charging continues to be a concern for consumers, it is interesting to note that 99% of journeys undertaken are within the range of EVs currently on the market. With new models set to offer double their existing range, the opportunity to eliminate this issue in showroom discussions has arrived, helping dealers to switch more customers into EVs.

However, while advances in battery technology are helping to overcome range anxiety, the lack of charging infrastructure across the UK remains a challenge, with over half of consumers saying they wouldn’t consider an EV yet and citing this issue as the main reason. Although charging infrastructure is beyond the control of most manufacturers, the outlook is positive as the number of charging points continues to increase rapidly.

Price parity, when the cost of an AFV matches the price of a petrol or diesel car, which Auto Trader predicts will occur by 2025, will ultimately mark the real tipping point and the start of the mass transition from fossil fuelled engines to electric powertrains. Sales of AFVs are anticipated to overtake their internal combustion engine equivalents by 2030.

On the subject of switching, Autoglym’s LifeShine Vehicle Protection System (VPS) has proven to deliver a compelling proposition to both customers and dealers. As well providing the best depth of colour and maximum protection, LifeShine is the most profitable VPS solution for dealers with average increased penetration rates of 8.6% when switching from another brand.

To find out how LifeShine can generate incremental revenue for your dealership, call us on 01462 677766 or get in touch.

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