Growing demand and prices of used EVs confirms ‘tipping point of acceptance’ with dealers and drivers says Shoreham Vehicle Auctions

The electric car market in the UK has reached a ‘tipping point of acceptance’ according to Shoreham Vehicle Auctions (SVA) as used prices and demand continues to grow based on greater dealer and consumer knowledge of the benefits associated with emission-free and low emission motoring.

The electric van market has also started to grow with low mileage business users accepting the benefit of running a used van with very low running costs, with the Nissan e-NV200 leading the way.

According to SVA’s managing director Alex Wright the secret is the education given to dealers and consumers about the features and benefits of an ever-growing range of new and used cars now available. Dealers have built their confidence when selling a used EV which in turn has given consumers greater confidence in buying one.

Dealers are changing consumer mindsets from one based on buying a car for their two-week holiday abroad in the summer, to one that is based on their total mobility needs. Rental companies have also helped by providing flexible renting for drivers based on their mobility needs.

“EVs need a used market that is alive and prospering. That’s why we have seen greater acceptance during 2018 and into 2019 which has boosted residuals. Companies have worked hard on education, including the SVA team’s training courses run in partnership with the Energy Saving Trust,” explained Wright.

“Leasing companies and finance companies can now underwrite EVs confident of a vehicle’s value in three-to-four years’ time which makes monthly rentals more competitive for companies and drivers alike.

“The next step is for the charging infrastructure to respond to market needs and provide a more reliable joined-up network of chargers across the country,” he added.

Wright cites the Nissan LEAF as a good recent example of how the used market has changed. In 2017 a 2015-plate Nissan Leaf 6.6KW Acenta with 20,000 miles on the clock booked at £8,850. In 2019 a 2017-plate Nissan Leaf 6.6KW Acenta with the same mileage is booking at £11,000, a rise of £2,150.

Recent academic reports such as the one issued by Connected Places Catapult in association with Innovate states that fleets will be key to driving rapid adoption necessary to reach the government’s target of all new car sales being zero emission by 2040. Wright agrees fleets are key to future adoption, but only with a healthy used market in place.

Wright considers the new market for plug-in hybrids as a major distraction for fleets with business drivers only adopting them because they provide lower rates of benefit-in-kind tax.

The majority of used plug-in hybrids SVA has seen go through auction have their charging leads in their original plastic bags unopened so haven’t contributed to lowering emissions or improving urban air quality.

“The used market for EVs has more than quadrupled in size since 2016 from 6,000 to 25,000 in 2018.

“It’s exciting to be in the used market at this time and we look forward to continue to support dealers in keeping pace with understanding new technologies and how to sell used EVs,” said Wright.