By Paul Homewood
Well, who would have guessed that!
Makers of electric cars are slowing down UK production as the vehicles are too expensive for many motorists.
It is now expected that the UK will produce 280,000 fully electric cars and vans in 2025, down from previous estimates of 360,000.
The forecast means only a quarter of car output will be electric within the next two years, lower than prior forecasts of more than a third.
In its latest report, the Advanced Propulsion Centre, which provides taxpayer funding to makers of zero-emissions vehicles, said the ‘uncertain economy’ was expected to push drivers towards cheaper car models for a longer period.
Declining production threatens to scupper a key government plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions, with the UK set to ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030.
The APC added a recovery in sales for 2030 was now ‘uncertain’ due to ongoing supply chain issues, particularly of lithium, a key ingredient in electric car batteries, as well as political tensions across the globe.
A production slowdown has already begun in the UK’s zero-emission car industry, with BMW announcing in October that it would stop production of the electric Mini at its plant in Oxford in order to ship the operation to China. And Jaguar has yet to provide further details on plans to become fully electric by 2025.
Concerns about costs were flagged earlier this week by the RAC, which revealed the average cost of charging an electric car had jumped by 58 per cent since last May.
Sales of pure electric cars, BEVs, were 267,000 last year, so this new forecast suggests flatlining.
I am not surprised in the least. A large proportion of EV sales are for company cars, due to the various tax advantages bestowed. Most private buyers however appear to be numpties who think they are saving the planet.
EVs offer nothing to the vast majority of the driving public, and it is hard to see any real breakthrough arriving anytime soon.
By coincidence, I was chatting with a BMW Sales Manager this week, who had just been turfed out of his X6 and given the IX electric model (which he says is crap!). The reason was that BMW had been pre-registering a lot of EVs before the end of the year, in order to meet government targets.
He says BMW were under government pressure to do so, though what that pressure is I cannot tell.
And all of this highlights the immense problems facing our car industry as the 2030 deadline nears. They are being forced to invest billions in setting up new assembly lines and engine plants to cater for the new models, whilst at the same time running down conventional car operations. On top of that, they may find that they cannot sell all of the EVs they are producing; or alternatively if they cut back on EV output, they risk losing market share.