The latest car registration figures in the UK demonstrate the continuing surge in sales of all-electric or battery electric vehicles (BEVs). Despite a downward trend in the broader UK car market (down 4.1%), BEVs have increased by an impressive 158%.
Diesel continues its downward slide, further dropping by 22.1%. PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) also witnessed a downward trend. However traditional hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) showed significant upward momentum, gaining 34.2%.
Given the ongoing ambiguity regarding Brexit and the increased potential of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, we expect the UK new car registration market to continue to remain under pressure. In fact, we do not expect any improvement in trading conditions in the UK automotive sector for the next 12 months. We also expect the continued collapse of diesel sales to continue unabated, as consumers migrate towards ultra low emission transportation.
The drop in PHEV sales is not surprising. PHEVs have always been ‘at best’ a stepping stone from traditional internal combustion engines to lower emission driving. However, with the significant increase in the range of pure electric cars (BEVs), consumers are migrating directly from petrol/ diesel cars to zero-emission driving i.e. bypassing plug-in hybrids. Moreover, the removal of the UK government PiCG grant for PHEVs, has also contributed to the decline in sales.
The decline of diesel car sales and PHEVs bode well for the UK market, as consumers seek either to replace their polluting traditional diesel and petrol cars with lower emission vehicles, like traditional hybrid vehicles (HEVs), or move directly to zero-emission vehicles. This momentum will continue to gain traction. It is only a matter of time before internal combustion engines are completely phased out in favour of environmentally friendly zero-emission driving.
Though the electric cars competing in the ABB Formula E championship have ‘winning’ as a core objective, the broader benefits from the electric vehicle racing can have a significant positive impact in the improvement of ‘everyday EV cars’.
This is not the first time, nor will it be the last time, that innovation and technology from motor racing has found its way into passenger cars. Look no further than the history of Enzo Ferrari and Ferrari road cars.
Potential areas that will benefit from Formula-E racing include:
- Longer range
- Faster charging
- Increased reliability
- Improved safety
- Better image
We certainly agree with this view and do believe that the ‘positive impact’ from competitive innovation, technical performance improvement and branding, will have far-reaching consequences for the nascent electric vehicles sector. Moreover, the objectives of the ABB Formula-E organisers to specifically improve performance for the benefit of a ‘wider’ improvement to EV manufacturing will further increase its contribution to the electric car industry.
The US record for the fastest travel cross-country in an electric car was broken by a Swiss family in July 2019. The family used a Tesla Model 3 to complete the New York-to-California journey in 48 hours and 10 minutes.
Wow! This is an excellent example of the continued increase in ‘range performance’ of electric cars, coupled with expanding public charging infrastructure. We at e-zoomed have been quite consistent with our views on ‘range anxiety’ i.e. though a valid concern, it has been blown out of proportion. Electric cars are now suitable for most driving needs, even those with a thirst for long distance driving holidays!