When Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced plans to expand the controversial ULEZ to cover all London boroughs, numerous drivers rushed out to buy an Electric Vehicle. It seemed sensible to do, considering EVs are exempt from the daily £12.50 charge. However, data from AA Cars today (September 1) found that interest in EVs may be cooling amidst their depreciating value.
The motoring firm found that demand for second-hand EVs has declined by half in the past year, making such vehicles’ value depreciate. Furthermore, one in 20 searches for used cars on the AA Cars platform were for EVs, down from one in ten (11 per cent) last year. Worryingly, the average price of the most popular used EVs fell by 3.9 per cent during the first half of the year.
The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) expanded on 29 August 2023 to cover all London boroughs. Sadiq Khan said the move was vital to bring cleaner air to all Londoners. Non-compliant vehicles will now have to pay £12.50, including cars, motorcycles, vans, specialist vehicles (up to and including 3.5 tonnes) and minibuses (up to and including 5 tonnes).
In the first six months of 2022, 11.3 per cent of UK-wide searches by fuel type on the AA Cars site were for EVs. Yet this has fallen by over half (55 per cent) to just 5 per cent of searches over the same period this year.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though, as the capital has seen a marginal interest continuing in second-hand EVs. They were featured in 10 per cent of searches for the first half of 2023, up from 9.1 per cent of searches by fuel type last year.
But there will be some beneficiaries of these latest stats. Those currently on the lookout for used EVs are likely to bag a bargain from falling prices. The average listing figure for all second-hand EVs and hybrids on the AA Cars platform dropped by 3.9 per cent from £32,549 to £31,276 in the second quarter of this year. The Renault Zoe has seen the biggest hit with a fall in price from Q1 2023 to Q2, declining by 13 per cent.
Mark Oakley, Director of AA Cars, said more needs to be done to promote EVs to accelerate their take-up. He said, “Drivers have been buying EVs in ever-increasing numbers, but there are signs that interest may be cooling outside of London. This could be down to cost-of-living pressures pushing people towards buying cheaper petrol and diesel vehicles.
“While the ULEZ expansion is likely playing a part in keeping London demand steady as drivers look to future-proof themselves. Prices for used EVs on the AA Cars website are falling, which may entice more drivers to consider a second-hand electric vehicle for their next car.”
Looking at the figures from AA, while the cost of used EVs remains high compared to their petrol and diesel counterparts, it’s apparent more support may be needed from the Government in the future to help cash-strapped consumers with their purchases.
Newspaper reports have outlined stories of numerous drivers of EV cars who have faced frustration with their vehicles in one way or another. The lack of charging stations and cars failing to deliver the range of miles purported are just a couple of the issues drivers have been facing.
Mr Oakley points out there may still be hope for EVs in the future if more cities across the UK decide to endorse ULEZ. “As more cities consider introducing clean air standards, interest in EVs should pick up further as drivers view them as a long-term option that will always make the grade when it comes to emissions standards.
“Drivers are understandably keen to save money where they can at the moment. We recommend that anyone buying a used car gets a vehicle inspection from a qualified engineer before parting with any money, as this will minimise the likelihood of you running into any unexpected — and potentially costly — issues in the future.”
The mighty EV may be touted as the future, but whether they will be remains to be seen.
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