BEV Lobbyist Predicts Doubling of UK Sales

Despite the snail-like progress of BEV sales in the UK, plus the pandemic suppressed domestic automotive market, one lobby group claims BEV sales will boom this year.

EV leasing company DriveElectric predicts “At least 200,000 new BEVs will be registered in the UK in 2021”. It admits this figure is based on its own forecasts without giving substantive reasons why sales will nearly double from the 108,205 BEVS registered in 2020. It seems the company is banking on the comparison of sales with ICE vehicles which were harder hit by the pandemic and national lockdowns.

Its reasons for its forecast include:

  • The UK government’s announcement that sales of new ICE cars and vans will end by 2030 focusing consumers’ minds on BEVs, while others see an urge to invest in the last of the ICE vehicles;
  • Existing financial incentives for BEVs, although these have yet to see much impact;
  • More models being made available from favored brands like Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz’ albeit VW’s first e-Golf sold poorly in the UK;
  • Prices should reduce with more manufacturers sharing common BEV platforms, again existing shared platforms have yet to see an impact on price tags;
  • Tesla’s improved production output, albeit still miniscule compared to traditional automakers;
  • There is growing environmental awareness but the company confuses air pollution with climate change where BEVs have been shown to have a greater carbon footprint than ICE on current global energy production methods;
  • Pressure from local authorities establishing Clean Air Zones which will force some short-haul delivery fleets to consider BEVs.

The company also makes the claim that most people prefer driving electric cars, a hotly contested debate with performance car fans who point to the unwieldly weight of performance BEVs dogged by huge battery packs to give them both the power and part of the range of an ICE competitor. The weight also ensures that a BEV’s track-day lap time will always be compromised against an equivalent fuel burning sports vehicle.

Nonetheless, Mike Potter, managing director of DriveElectric, trumpeted: “It is interesting to see that battery electric vehicle registrations in 2020 exceeded our forecast despite the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021 there will be even more EV models on sale, so motorists looking to save money on running costs and to banish tailpipe emissions will have even more choice.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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