Online car supermarket BuyaCar.co.uk has seen a 67 percent increase in used EV sales during 2020, suggesting that advances in addressing ‘range anxiety’ are opening the door to EVs becoming a mainstream used car option.
Ford Focus Electric, first launched in 2012
Analysis of EV sales on BuyaCar.co.uk also shows that 2020 model year cars are most popular - bucking the trend for other fuel types, where older cars are more popular, with more cars registered in 2017 sold than from any other year.
It suggests that recent advances in addressing 'range anxiety' - that’s the distance electric cars can travel per charge - are paying off. For example, in just five years the reliable range of a Renault Zoe has increased from 130 miles between charges to 245 miles.
Analysts and experts at BuyaCar.co.uk and sister website DrivingElectric.com also believe that a year of frequent pandemic travel restrictions may have also encouraged some buyers to think less about longer distance journeys and look again at EVs.
The market received a major boost last month when the UK government announced a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel models from 2030 - reinforcing that in less than a decade all new car buyers will have to go electric, with used car buyers having to follow suit in time. Enquiries and searches for electric cars on BuyaCar.co.uk surged by 500 percent overnight and have consistently remained higher than ever before.
While searches for EVs on BuyaCar.co.uk remain well behind traditional engine types and hybrids, the rolling 30 day figure for EV searches currently stands 60 percent higher than for the rest of the year and is now pushing close to one in 10 initial enquiries.
Average prices paid on BuyaCar.co.uk for an electric car are significantly higher than for petrol or diesel cars, with only hybrids above them. With customers paying an average of around £2,000 more for an EV compared to a typical diesel and a whopping £6,000 more than for a petrol car, BuyaCar sees this as another sign of growing consumer confidence in electric cars.
“Despite the inevitable flurry of interest in EVs, in the wake of the recent government announcement that new conventional engined cars are outlawed from 2030, what we were more interested to see is that used electric car enquiries are remaining higher than before” said Christofer Lloyd, editor of BuyaCar.co.uk. “Electric vehicles clearly remain a niche area of the used market at the moment, but with initial searches now knocking on the door of 10 percent, the signs of approaching mainstream acceptance are clearly there.”
Richard Ingram, editor of the specialist EV website DrivingElectric.co.uk, added that interest in electric vehicles is growing month-on-month as people look to reduce their bills and lessen their carbon footprint, but that EVs and hybrids needn't be the preserve of new car buyers as there are some incredibly talented models on the used market, too.
The growing importance of zero and low-carbon sustainable motoring to BuyaCar and its partners is also highlighted by a special ‘carbon offset’ deal offered through the platform. Alphera Financial Services chose BuyaCar.co.uk to pilot ‘Alpha Zero’, a special finance deal enabling motorists to buy a used hybrid or plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and offset their carbon emissions at no additional cost. A tree-planting programme is launched after every sale, tailored to the individual customer’s projected use of the car, to make their motoring as carbon neutral as possible throughout their ownership period.
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