The widespread adoption of electic vehicles is down to factors such as lifestyle changes brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic and people becoming more environmentally conscious writes Steve Molloy, director of Commercial Sales and EV Strategy at AX. The definition of ‘revolution’ in the Oxford English Dictionary is ‘a dramatic and wide-reaching change in conditions, attitudes, or operation’.
Certainly, the priority in planning for any revolution is to ‘be prepared’. The Electric Revolution is no different and the question we must ask ourselves is ‘are we really prepared?’ As of the end of December 2020 there were more than 435,000 plug-in vehicles with approximately 205,000 battery electric vehicles and 233,000 plug in hybrid electric vehicles registered. Last year saw the biggest annual increase in new vehicle registrations, with more than 180,000 electric vehicles registered – showing a growth of 66% on 2019. This is despite the impact of Brexit, the coronavirus pandemic and the economy falling into recession.
Since the new vehicle registrations in September, the UK has seen a dramatic rise in new BEV sales with a month-on-month increase. December 2020 alone, saw an astonishing 21,914 BEV’s sold, representing 6.6% market share, compared to 1.7% in 2019. These numbers reflect both the increase in demand for pure electric vehicles and the decline in demand for traditional, particularly diesel, se vehicles.*
If this trend continues, and there is no reason why It will not, then 2021 will truly start the BEV revolution, with new vehicle sales predicted to double the current UK car parc.
AX, the accident management and car rental provider, recently published their EV survey findings in a whitepaper, which supported the stats and forecasted trends referenced above. Most notable was the appetite in owning or driving an EV, with 51.9% of respondents either likely to buy or considering buying an EV within the next two years. This appetite to change is driven by two main factors, 83.7% surveyed believed they would be helping the environment, while 70.5% believed they would save on fuel cost.
But why have we seen a significant increase in BEV sales over the last 4 months? Environmental concern is still the single biggest purchasing factor; the increased supply by manufacturers, the improvement in vehicle range and the government’s home charging grants will be other factors. However, the change in our lifestyle and driving distances, forced on us by the pandemic, I believe, is driving the biggest change in Electric Vehicle adoption. The issue of range anxiety as a concern has almost dissipated and the apprehension around travelling on public transport is driving people to completely rethink the way they travel.
So, are you ready for the EV revolution in 2021? At AX, we have invested heavily in our fleet, repair capability and charging infrastructure, enabling us to already guarantee a like for like EV replacement solution to the insurer and broker market. We are also working with several insurers and brokers in supporting the development of their EV strategy and insurance products. See our latest Whitepaper here on Insurance Hound. Please get in touch here if you would like to learn more.
*EV Sales data provided by Zip-car.