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EV sales for March up 79% year-on-year

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By James Morris, WhichEV

Almost 40,000 new electric cars were registered in March 2022, an increase of 79% on the previous year.

While the increase was spread across a number of popular models from Stellantis, VW and Hyundai – the sales data from Tesla really stood out.

Considering the average price of a new petrol or diesel car in 2021 was around £22,000, the big sellers in March 2022 were the Tesla Model Y and Model 3 – occupying number 1 and 2 spots for March.

On a ‘year-to-date’ basis, they are now the 6th and 7th best selling cars, respectively. What makes that unusual, is that a Model 3 will cost you an average of £45,000 and the Model Y closer to £55,000.

In the past, that kind of money would normally be reserved for executive cars from Mercedes, Lexus and BMW – none of which have a model in the Top 10 so far this year.

Looking at the growth in EV sales, it’s worth noting that the overall car market declined by more than 14% – driven mostly by a drop of more than 55% in diesel registrations.

With diesel prices close to £1.80 a litre and most energy suppliers still offering electricity at lower rates overnight, we’re only going to see an increase in momentum from polluting, fossil fuel cars to cleaner, cheaper-to-run EVs.

Rapidly declining resale values on fossil fuel cars, over the coming years, will only see the rate of change accelerating.

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EVs attracting drivers back to company car schemes

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Employees who have previously taken cash options are returning to company car schemes in “noticeable” numbers thanks to electric vehicles (EVs), reports Arval UK.
Shaun Sadlier, head of consulting at Arval UK, said this was something that was predicted when the latest zero and low benefit-in-kind rates for EVs were unveiled in 2019, but is now becoming increasingly more apparent:
“Many cash takers liked their company car but didn’t like paying what they perceived as high benefit-in-kind and that was why they opted-out. Now, with low benefit-in-kind in place for EVs for at least five years, many more are now returning to company car schemes.
“We predicted that this would start to happen some time ago, but it’s now becoming noticeable In several of the major fleets with which we work. It’s a welcome development that will feed demand for zero-emission vehicles and lead to wider, faster adoption.”
Sadlier added that, while benefit-in-kind was the key attractor in choosing a zero emission vehicle, there were also a range of other factors in play.
“If you talk to fleet managers and their drivers, there’s a lot of enthusiasm around the vehicles themselves. It’s as simple as many people really liking EVs as their day-to-day mode of transport. We are beyond the early adopter phase and heading into mass-acceptance.
“All it takes is a couple of EVs on a fleet to disprove the reservations some people hold about these vehicles. They can see that misgivings such as range anxiety are actually of limited importance for the vast number of journeys that are made.
Arval UK recently updated its own company car scheme to increase adoption of EVs and the move paid off with almost two thirds of its company car drivers making the switch so far. 
“All of our consultants and many of our sales team have switched to EVs. They act as ambassadors for the technology, developing personal experience to share with customers, friends and family – as more people drive EVs, consumer confidence will increase. Coupled with the growing number of different models that are available, plus the recent 2030 announcement, it’s not an exaggeration to say that we can all play our part in a zero-emission future and choosing an EV is a step in that direction.”

Brits want electric cars to sound like… cars

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A new survey has revealed that British road users want electric cars to sound like cars to ensure safety for pedestrians and other road users.

The survey, conducted by Venson Automotive Solutions, found that 43 percent of drivers would prefer a noise that mimics the sound of a conventional petrol or diesel engine on an electric vehicle, particularly when driven at low speed, while 23 percent would prefer a continuous low decibel sound. 

The findings come as manufacturers work to meet new legal requirements for all new hybrid and EVs to incorporate an acoustic vehicle alert system (AVAS) – From July 1, 2019, all new electric cars sold in the EU have to be fitted with AVAS and all existing models by July 2021.

70 percent of those polled also preferred a horn sound similar to that made by a conventional petrol or diesel engine, along with 72 percent admitting they felt that all electric vehicle sounds should be standardised.

Under EU law, from 2021, EV drivers will be able to manually trigger a warning sound, as in a horn but less urgent, to alert pedestrians and road users of their presence. 70 percent surveyed said they would like to hear a horn sound similar to that made by a petrol or diesel engine vehicle. 

Just 13 percent wanted to hear a phrase such as ‘EV approaching’, however, 6 percent would prefer an animal sound like a roar, bark or quack instead of a traditional vehicle horn.

Alison Bell, Marketing Director for Venson Automotive Solutions, said: “The integration of AVAS into hybrid and electric vehicles is a very positive move.  Almost silent electric and hybrid cars put vulnerable road users at risk, especially children, the partially sighted and blind. As more fleet drivers opt for emission-free electric models, with the introduction of zero BIK tax from April 2020, they will be relieved to know that with the introduction of AVAS their choice will no longer put road users at risk.

“With over 100 years of petrol and diesel engine sounding vehicles on our roads, people naturally react to the sound of an approaching vehicle or a horn being sounded. Keeping sounds we are used to hearing on UK roads makes the most sense when it comes to road safety and saving lives.”