The Old Guard Can Pretend Not To See The Writing On The Wall ‘EVs Will Comprehensively Replace Polluting ICE vehicles’, But They Cannot Stop The Impending Rise Of Electric Vehicles!
A few weeks ago, a comment by a senior BMW executive made headlines. Shortly after BMW announced its intention to further accelerate its ‘electrification strategy’, a senior BMW executive seemed to suggest people were not buying EVs.
BMW, like all major global automotive manufactures, have realised that the impending migration to zero-emission motoring is fast moving to the mainstream. Hence, the decision to advance the introduction of 25 new plug-in electric cars by two years from 2025 to 2023. BMW is not alone in advancing its plans for introducing its EV portfolio. Other automotive manufacturers are also doing the same. Everyone is now in ‘catch up’ overdrive mode!
So it did surprise me (putting it politely), that the senior BMW executive and board member Klaus Frolich was not positive in his remarks regarding electric vehicles. I would encourage Mr. Frolich to do his homework and read the market data on the sales of EVs. The writing is clearly on the wall. EVs sales are certainly on the increase and this is just the start! I do not want to speculate, but I suspect much of the ‘old guard’ in the automotive sector are threatened by the rapid adoption of electric vehicles to include plug-in electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery electric vehciles (BEVs).
So Are Brits Buying Electric Cars?
Yes, without an iota of doubt. We are now well into the second half of the year and the data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers And Traders (SMMT) demonstrates clearly the strong demand from consumers for lower to zero emission electric vehicles.
As of July 2019
- Sales of diesel cars are down a whopping 19.7% this year compared to the same period last year.
- Sales of petrol cars are up buy a mere 3.4% this year compared to the same period last year.
- sales of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are up a gigantic 70.6% this year compared to the same period last year.
- Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are down 32.4% this year compared to the same period last year.
- Hybrid electric Vehicles (HEVs) are up 19.2% this year compared to the same period last year.
It is clear, that since the unfolding of the dieselgate scandal in 2015, the downward sales trend of diesel cars continues unabated, as consumers shun polluting cars for more environmentally friendly lower emission cars.
The fall in PHEVs was expected and due to the following reasons:
- New models of pure electric vehicles i.e. BEVs have significantly improved range, therefore reducing the need to buy PHEVs to overcome ‘range anxiety’. The 2019/2020 all-electric models have WLTP ranges well over 150 miles and in some cases like the Tesla models over 300 miles.
- The government terminated the PiCG incentive for PHEVs but continues to provide financial support for BEVs. I agree with this approach as PHEVs are at ‘best’ just a stepping stone from internal combustion engines to all-electric vehicles. In time, PHEVs will be phased out.
- Consumers are determined to reduce the impact of personal transportation on the environment and are demonstrating a strong enthusiasm for zero-emission personal transportation
Despite the increased sales of BEVs, the overall penetration of BEVs in the UK is still relatively nascent at 1% market share. However, the continued growth of HEVs clearly points to the migration to lower emission vehicles. I believe that the diesel market share will continue to drop significantly in favour of ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs), in particular, BEVs.
Furthermore, the numerous announcements by global automotive manufacturers i.e. the EV pipeline, the improvement in EV charging infrastructure and the continued headlines related to climate change, position the UK market strongly for the rapid adoption of electric vehicles.
- Year to date 2019: total number of BEVs registrations: 14,246
- Year to date 2019: total number of PHEVs registrations: 16,687
- Year to date 2019: total number of HEVs registrations: 56.975