Visitors to the picturesque Whitby Bay beach in north Yorkshire were in for a shock earlier this month, when they encountered two giant footprints etched into the sand. The left was half the length of a football pitch, at 50 metres – the right was just 3.5 metres long.
The reason? A publicity stunt by EDF Energy to point out the vast difference between the carbon footprint of electric cars – the right foot – and conventional diesel and electric on the left. It may have stated the obvious – but the electric vehicle (EV) is only just catching on in the UK.
We agree that the EV industry in the UK is still at early stages, however, it is certainly well positioned to scale. We do not believe a comparison to Norway is truly ‘like-for-like’. After all, Norway has a population of just over 5 million (2019) while the UK has a population over 66 million (2019). Therefore a 50% market share in ‘absolute numbers’ is still relatively small and not significantly ahead of the total number of EVs currently on UK roads.
Even though electric vehicles (BEVs & PHEVs) are still under 5% of the market share in the UK, more than 50,000 have already been sold in the UK (up to October 2019). This of course does not include all the orders placed but yet to be delivered by manufacturers. Therefore, it is amply clear that EVs in the UK are more than just a ‘niche’ transportation solution, and given the above volumes, it can be argued robustly that zero-emission road transportation is already mainstream. It is now only a matter of further adoption and scale.
Yes, we agree that ‘prices’ remain an obstacle but again these costs have not been correctly understood by consumers. Potential buyers need to assess all life cycle costs of owning an electric vehicle, to include maintenance and running costs. It is now well understood and accepted that EVs have much lower maintenance costs and lower running costs per mile, Recharging an EV battery will set you back £5, while filling a full tank of fuel will set you back up to £80. If indeed, consumers were informed better on total life cycle costs, the adoption rate would increase.
In regards to ‘range anxiety’ we have said it a million times and do completely agree with Graeme Cooper from the Nation Grid: “The average person drives just 37 miles per day. Yet so often people buy a vehicle for the biggest journey they’ll ever do – which might be a 400 mile holiday to Cornwall once a year. If an electric car can’t do that on a single charge, they reject it as an option.”
Moreover, if you see the new model line-up of electric cars, the range performance is well over 200 zero-emission miles and in some case well over 300 miles. Once again, we believe that consumers have been misinformed by certain stakeholders that do not want to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles. The ‘fear factor’ has been exploited significantly!
Carmaker Audi is to cut 9,500 of its 61,000 jobs in Germany between now and 2025 to make more money available for electric vehicles and digital working. The cuts – which aim to save EUR 6bn (£5.1 bn) – will be achieved through an early retirement programme. But the Volkswagen-owned firm also said its move into electric cars would mean the creation of up to 2,000 jobs.
The writing is clearly on the wall. The turmoil in the global automotive industry is set to deepen as the industry faces both, difficult trading conditions and one of the fiercest ‘technological’ changes, as we rapidly migrate from internal combustion engine (ICE) cars to zero-emission battery electric vehicles (BEVs). It is not only the OEMs i.e. the automotive manufacturers that will witness significant changes, to include further job cuts, but also other companies across the value chain. After-sales and maintenance providers are at significant risk in relation to job cuts, as the very fundamental ‘economic value‘ of after-sales management & maintenance is challenged and disrupted by the adoption of green cars. The primary reason for this is that EVs have far fewer moving parts and therefore the potential revenue stream of the auto maintenance sector is set for a sharp permanent decline.
The key for all employers in the automotive value chain is to identify new skill sets that will be required to service and compete in a zero-emission transportation world and commence the process of re-training employees for the inevitable change and overhaul of the global automotive industry.
We at e-zoomed are more than happy to assist you with all your EV needs to include:
- Compare and buy an electric car in the UK
- Compare affordable electric car finance and lease deals in the UK
- Compare and buy best electric car insurance deals in the UK
- Compare and buy best electric car breakdown cover in the UK
- Compare and buy green electricity for your home and electric vehicle
- Compare and buy best priced electric car charging cables and EV accessories
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