Latest figures released by the SMMT show a surge in alternatively fuelled vehicle (AFV) registrations in 2019. Those 170,434 registrations represented a record market share of 7.4% which is a modest rise from the 6% market share achieved the previous year. Whilst this is welcome progress, it is some way behind the progress needed to achieve government ambitions for this market.
The figures come as the SMMT publishes data showing the UK new car fleet average CO2 rose for a third successive year, by +2.7% to 127.9g/km. This is a worrying trend in light of the CAFÉ regulations target of 95g/km which is now being phased in, ready for full enforcement next year.
Something must change to accelerate consumer confidence and the uptake of AFVs.
What are the issues for customers?
It’s clear that there is a growing movement by consumers who are demanding a cleaner and ‘greener’ way of life. However, there are concerns amongst consumers that negatively impact sales of AFVs. Concerns vary as to the relevance and impact on a customer’s buying decisions and can include:
– The cost of purchase being greater than traditional vehicles.
– Range limitation.
– Availability of charging stations.
– Length of time taken to charge.
– The cost to charge the battery.
What are the problems for the industry?
Achieving the new CO2 model mix being loaded on the manufacturers through regulation will either be achieved by production constraints or dealer model mix targets. Such measures will have a direct impact on dealer and manufacturer profitability and may also lead to excessive pre-registration of lower CO2 emission vehicles.
What can be done?
Dealers find themselves with a unique opportunity to drive the speed of change in the industry towards a greener future. They have a pivotal role in creating consumer demand and improving uptake of AFVs which I believe they can do in three ways:
1. By showing customers that the cost of usership can be less than their current (traditional) vehicle.
2. By demonstrating the performance of AFVs.
3. By educating the customer on the pro’s and ease of AFV ownership.
Creating consumer demand
A great start would be for dealers to attract customers to their showrooms to experience electric and hybrid vehicles, and while there, educate them as to just how good and cost-effective AFV’s really are.
Combining the benefits of PCP with lower fuel, maintenance and ownership costs to offset the initial higher capital costs of EVs can result in a significant net saving for EV drivers over traditional engine vehicles. Demonstrating the whole life cost of an EV against a traditional engine vehicle, whilst showing that the range and performance of EVs is comparable to traditional vehicles, will surely create a demand lead change to achieve the manufacturer CO2 targets whilst helping to save the environment too!
The MotorVise Green Vehicle event offers dealers and manufacturers the opportunity to create a demand lead step change in CO2 emissions through consumer education that will drive EV orders.