Porsche Taycan Turbo GT
Car News 4 Jun 2024

Is Now The Time To Choose Electric?

There has been a lot said over the past few weeks about the fall in demand for electric vehicles, especially with private buyers. Whilst headline sales figures may seem positive overall, a lot of the EV registrations are propped up by fleets and business purchases thanks mainly to the benefits and tax breaks that electric company car drivers receive. For private individuals however, subsidiaries and grants have largely been removed providing less incentive to make the switch to electric motoring.

Another factor that goes against owning an electric car is the price when new. Although the residual value of an electric car can often fall quite considerably after just 12 months or less, the initial cost to purchase an EV can be substantially more than the price of an equivalent petrol or diesel version. Historically this was offset by the cheaper costs to run an electric car, however since the Cost of Living crisis and utility bill rises the gap seems to be getting narrower. Depending on where, when and how you charge the car, it could actually end up costing more.

Is Now The Time To Choose Electric?: Audi Q8 e-tron
Image courtesy of Audi

Why Buy An Electric Car Now?

But now could actually be the perfect time to consider purchasing an electric vehicle. The impending combustion engine ban in 2035 caused the government to introduce the ZEV Mandate. Essentially imposing strict deadlines for manufacturers to sell a certain proportion of electric vehicles by certain years, with this year requiring 22% of all cars sold to be purely electrically powered. Those that do not meet the deadlines may have heavy financial penalties imposed upon them, fines of up to £15,000 per vehicle in fact.

All of this means that with the fall in demand and the pressure to sell more and more electric only vehicles, many manufacturers are offering considerable discounts and offers to attempt to get potential customers into one of their electric models. In fact, the average list prices are falling for as many as 7 out of every 10 brand new electric vehicles, as the industry tries to create demand and sell enough vehicles to not be heavily fined by the end of the year.

As well as some manufacturers reducing prices of their entire range of electric vehicles, as Tesla famously have a number of times over the past 12 months, some individual models have seen their list prices fall by as much as 20% year on year according to popular car marketplace Auto Trader. Not only that, but many manufacturers are also offering additional packages and specification options at no additional cost in order to make a model seem more appealing.

But with less than 1 in 10 new cars bought by private buyers currently being an electric only vehicle, is this enough to increase demand and desirability amongst those still driving their combustion engine vehicles. Shopping smarter and doing your research means you could not only get a considerable discount off a brand-new electric vehicle, but also manage to purchase one that may depreciate less quickly than other electric models.

Is Electric Car Interest Growing?

According to data from Auto Trader, two-thirds of UK drivers buy used cars, and with some electric car models currently suffering from considerable depreciation within the first 12 months, tempting them into brand new cars may be quite a challenge. That being said, their research showed that 34% of buyers are considering an electric vehicle for their next purchase, compared to just 26% in August last year. Amongst the more affluent car buyers, for who the initial price point may not be so much of an issue, this has climbed from 47% in 2022 to 61%. But it is the younger drivers between the ages of 17 and 24 who are most likely to consider an EV, with 63% looking to switch to an electric vehicle.

The initial cost and affordability of an electric vehicles continues to be the biggest barrier to making the switch from combustion engine cars, and not just for new cars. With brand new vehicles, there are currently just 9 models available priced under £30,000, yet 76 combustion engine models on the market. With used vehicles, the average price of a 0-5 year old pre-owned vehicle on Auto Trader was just over £28,500, over £7,500 more than the average price of the same combustion engine vehicles.

Is Now The Time To Choose Electric?: BMW i5
Image courtesy of BMW

More Choice Than Ever Before

For those who look to purchase a car over that price point, however, there has never been more choice and for many people, from familiar brands that you may already own. Tesla may have got an early start in the electric marketplace, but the mainstream manufacturers are offering their customers a genuine alternative these days. Volvo’s sister company, Polestar, continue to offer innovative products and their Polestar 2 is seen as the main rival to Tesla’s Model 3, with the newly announced Polestar 4 SUV also causing many people to rethink before ordering their Model Y.

Porsche already had the popular Taycan in their line up and have recently announced that the 2024 Macan is now all-electric, with the Boxster and Cayman reportedly joining in on the electric action soon. Our most funded brand, Land Rover, have announced the Range Rover EV which is set to offer brand familiarity, the upmost in luxuriousness and famous off-road abilities in a landmark product for the company. Lotus too are adding to their all-electric offering after their Emira is set to be the last combustion engine car they make. The Eletre performance SUV, limited production Evija hypercar and recently launched Emeya luxury performance saloon may be a breakaway from traditional Lotus products but are making big impressions already in the electric vehicle marketplace.

The German trio of BMW, Audi and Mercedes Benz offer some of the finest electric vehicles on the market, offering their customers a model range and product offering that they trust and are familiar with alongside their petrol equivalents. Many have also ensured that the electric alternative to their mainstream model is offered at a price point that does not differ too much from the combustion engine variant. A factor that is sure to tempt their existing and new customers into deciding on the suitability of their lifestyle and commuting distance to the main reason for choosing one over the other, rather than affordability.

Lotus Eletre
Image courtesy of Lotus

See What Is On Offer

With the advancement in the technology itself, the increasing range capabilities, the number of available models and the public charging network improving all the time, there has never been a better time to be considering an electric vehicle. This, combined with the pressure on manufacturers to encourage people to buy electric vehicles in order to meet the strict targets set out by the government means that it has also never been more affordable. Whether you are looking at saving money off the list price, getting additional specification or optional extras for free, or even a free or discounted charger installed at your home, it pays to shop around to see what each brand can offer you.

Oracle Electric Car Finance

At Oracle Finance we have your next car’s funding sorted, whether it is electric or however it is powered. Our expert Account Managers use our panel of over 20 specialist lenders to help you to find the perfect package, bespoke to you and your circumstances. Our team are always on hand should you have any questions about arranging car finance and your dedicated Account Manager is ready to take your call today.

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