EVs fail to interrupt into the mass market


By Paul Homewood


Sales of electric vehicles have increased steadily in recent years. Last year, BEV registrations (battery only) totaled 267,000, 16% of all cars, 77,000 more than 2021 (the chart also includes hybrids).

Still, at this rate of increase, BEV sales will only be about 900,000 by 2030, about half of all sales.

But is this increase sustainable? If we look away from the totals and zoom in on which models are being sold, we get a vastly different picture:


The Teslas, which account for a fifth of all BEV sales, are priced at £44,990 and £42,990 respectively, depending on the RRP. The Niro and ID.3 are only marginally cheaper at £36,795 and £39,254 respectively, and the Polestar, BMW and Audi are more expensive than the Tesla.

Only two cars on the list cost under £30,000 – the Leaf and Mini £28,995 and £29,000 respectively, and these account for just 6% of EV sales. This top 10 list accounts for nearly half of all BEV sales.

Quite simply, most of the cars on the list are completely unaffordable for the vast majority of drivers, as are the Leaf and the electric Mini. BEVs have not yet made the breakthrough into the mass market.

A look at the bestseller list shows where the market is:


Aside from the Tesla, our favorite car on the list is the Kuga, priced at £30,755. The Qashqai and Corsa cost £26,405 and £18,065 respectively. At the moment there is absolutely no indication that the owners of any of these cars will replace them with an electric vehicle. One reason, of course, is the cost. However, a key factor is also the impracticality of BEVs for most drivers,

If you can afford an Audi Q4 for 50,000 euros, you probably have a second car in the garage for longer journeys.

The simple reality is that there is limited demand for the upscale cars that currently dominate the EV sector; and many of these sales relate to company cars, bought primarily for tax purposes.

Until BEVs can break into the mass market sector, it’s hard to imagine how they can ever be anything more than a niche product. (At least until real cars are banned!)

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