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Huge slump in buyers chasing electric cars as high energy costs bite

NewsHuge slump in buyers chasing electric cars as high energy costs bite

Interest in new electric cars has slumped by nearly two-thirds since the start of last year, according to online vehicle marketplace Auto Trader.

It recorded a 65 per cent drop in inquiries from potential buyers for the vehicles last month compared with January 2022.

The company’s Road to 2030 report attributed the reduction to several factors, including the cost-of-living crisis, higher interest rates for borrowing and the rise in energy prices.

It noted the market for new electric vehicles (EVs) is being hampered by a lack of affordable choices, with the number of models costing between £20,000 and £30,000 decreasing.

The analysis also stated that new EVs are an average of 37 per cent more expensive than petrol and diesel cars.

READ MORE: Electric car owners warned of thieves removing charging cables

Auto Trader urged the Government to offer better incentives for making the switch from conventionally-fuelled cars.

It called for a reduction on VAT for public charging so it is the same rate as home charging.

VAT on domestic electricity is 5 per cent whereas motorists using on-street chargers pay 20%.

The sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned in the UK from 2030.

Ian Plummer, commercial director of Auto Trader, said: “These are difficult times for the UK’s road to 2030 ambitions and we are in danger of veering off track.

“For example, it cannot be right that those who don’t have option of charging at home are forced to pay substantially more to charge their vehicles.

“While the extra £380m announced in March to improve charging infrastructure will help, the goal of mass adoption is at risk unless we use the tax system inventively to spur on EV purchases and accelerate demand.”

A Government spokesperson said: “Electric vehicles continue to offer opportunities for savings through cheaper charging and maintenance costs, and we have put £2bn into helping people make the switch.

“Recent industry figures showed continued growth in new electric car registrations, and more EVs are entering the used car market – giving people more choice for accessing affordable EVs.”

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