The Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said a slower adoption of new electric vehicles would shrink the size of the used car market and make low-income drivers pay more to keep driving gasoline cars.
The nonprofit estimates that if the government sticks to the recommended level of zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) regulations, 2.1 million fewer used small and medium electric vehicles will be sold by 2033, compared with a scenario in which ministers adopt the car industry’s “high” Electric Vehicle sales projections.
An analysis by the ECIU of the outlook of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, which represents automakers, suggests that under a scenario of “high adoption” of electric vehicles, their market share will reach 34% in 2024 and 60% in 2027.
The organization found that used small and medium-sized electric cars could save owners between £500 and £800 a year in running costs compared to petrol cars.
ECIU transport analyst Colin Walker said: “Even with record high electricity costs driven up by the gas crisis, EVs are still around three times cheaper to run than their petrol equivalents.
“But with 82% of car sales in the UK being second-hand, this market is critical if many more families across the UK are going to be able to access these savings. If Government policy on new EVs goes slow, the growth of the second-hand Electric Vehicle market will be held back, potentially consigning families to more expensive motoring.”
The ECIU argues that if the UK adopts a stricter ZEV directive than the EU, manufacturers could choose to sell more of their Electric Vehicle stock in the UK.
A Department for Transport spokesman said: “We’re working closely with industry on the path to all new cars being zero emission by 2035, and carefully considering any issues raised as we consult on our mandate.
“More widely, we‘ve put more than £2 billion into helping consumers transition to electric vehicles.”
The analysis found that a 40% reduction in vehicle CO2 emissions between 2021 and 2030 could be achieved through major changes in other areas, such as pure electric vehicles accounting for 35% of car ownership by 2030.
RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding said: “From the point of view of the planet, the next car people buy is critical. For those thinking of going electric but wavering, perhaps put off by the up-front price, there is a case for pausing to see how things play out in the next year or two, rather than falling back to petrol.”
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