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The WhichEV View

THE WHICHEV VIEW: Where does the US-China EV trade war leave UK buyers?

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

By WhichEV

Around 60% of the electric cars produced in the world come from China. Until recently, most were sold internally, to drivers in China – but the Chinese know that they have a ‘winning offer’ and are looking to expand globally over the next 10 years. Unable to compete on a price-innovation-quality basis, the US has announced a 100% tariff on Chinese EVs. The swapping of economic punches will continue, so where does that leave British drivers?

WhichEV recently reported on the 100% tariff that the US decided to impose on EVs coming into the States from China. This isn’t the first time in recent history where the United States has implemented ‘protectionist’ policies.

It previously curtailed Chinese companies’ access to Google software, including operating systems and the Google Play Store. This move aimed to limit the technological capabilities and market appeal of Chinese smartphones internationally, aligning with US efforts to mitigate security risks and reduce tech dependencies. This move had the side-effect of forcing China to develop alternative systems – potentially leading to increased global technological divergence and much more competition for US products.

The US also restricted Chinese access to ARM processors, essential for mobile devices and emerging tech applications. This measure aimed to block China from acquiring advanced computing technologies, potentially enhancing both civilian and military capabilities. This disruption compelled China to accelerate its semiconductor development – creating more competition in the global market.

With additional threats to its access to high-tech chips, China has decided to move away from relying on Qualcomm processors and chipsets for its future automotive communications plans. This is a significant development, likely aligning with the broader strategy of technological independence and reduced dependency on Western technology.

Head on over to WhichEV for the full story.

THE WHICH EV VIEW: Top 10 Budget Bargains

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

By WhichEV

In the ever-evolving landscape of electric vehicles (EVs), finding the right balance between cost and technology is crucial for consumers looking to make the switch from traditional petrol or diesel cars. This month, amidst a dynamic shift in the EV market, notable price adjustments by leading manufacturers have unveiled some remarkable opportunities for savvy buyers.

At WhichEV, our latest feature, “Top 10 EV Budget Bargains for April 2024,” highlights the best deals currently available, providing our readers with a detailed analysis and guide to making an informed choice without compromising on quality or future-readiness.

The list of top bargains reflects a broad range of models, catering to diverse preferences and needs.

From compact city cars like the Vauxhall Corsa-e priced at an attractive £18,495 (which represents close to £13,000 off the MSRP) through to more spacious offerings such as the Citroen e-C4 X at £25,000(around £10,000 off MSRP), these deals represent a strategic move by manufacturers to make electric driving more accessible to a wider audience.

Click here to read the full story over at WhichEV.

Tesla introduces new pricing structure for Supercharger network

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

By WhichEV

Tesla has revised its pricing structure for its Supercharger network in the UK, introducing a new membership model that offers lower charging rates for all electric vehicle (EV) owners. The company confirmed that as of April 13th, it moved to a membership-based system, where Tesla owners are enrolled automatically.

Having lost ground to BYD in terms of pure EV sales, Tesla is now launching a marketing initiative in an area where it knows it can win – its Supercharger Network. We recently discussed product pricing with a senior member of Tesla’s management team. When we asked, “So how long before we will be able to buy a Tesla for £20-25,000?” – we got a wry smile along with the reply, there’s one over there. The Tesla chap was pointing to a two year old Model 3 Standard Range. For now, that’s all Tesla has to compete with the up-coming flood of decent quality Chinese options arriving in European markets.

For more on this story, head over to WhichEV.

THE WHICHEV VIEW: UK car market sees notable growth according to the SMMT

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

By WhichEV

The UK’s new car market recorded a significant upturn, marking its 20th consecutive month of growth, with new car registrations climbing by 10.4%. This surge resulted in 317,786 new cars being registered, all sporting the new ’24’ numberplate, indicating the strongest March since 2019. However, this achievement still trails behind the pre-pandemic figures by 30.6%.

This period of growth predominantly stems from fleet investments, which saw a 29.6% increase. Despite this positive trend, the sector faces challenges with a downturn in private buyer registrations by 7.7%, affected by the prevailing economic difficulties, low consumer confidence, and heightened interest rates. Additionally, small business registrations experienced a decline of 8.0%.

Although petrol cars still sell and diesel continues to dwindle, there was a noteworthy surge in the registration of  vehicles with an electric motor – led by hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) registrations, which hit a record 19.6% increase, totalling 44,550 units or 14.0% of the market share.

Click here to read the full analysis over at WhichEV.

THE WHICHEV VIEW: Humax is about to make the EV charger market a lot more competitive

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

All markets go through a similar cycle: One (or more!) smart folks come up with an invention, innovation explodes and some ‘early leaders’ are established, then smaller companies combine or change industries. Meanwhile, major companies (with lots of similar/relevant experience), tend to come in a little later – but rapidly build a much larger presence. We’ve just seen the announcement that Humax are entering the charger market – and things will become a lot more ‘competitive’.

Humax is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of set-top boxes – both for ‘subscriber services’ and Freeview, etc. That gives them the large scale production, software expertise and routes to market.

In fact, they will be on hand to demonstrate their first AC units at the Everything Electric Show at the Excel from 28th to 30th March 2024.

The initial price (ex VAT) is expected to be around £520 and larger commercial models will follow.

The more competition in the market – the cheaper it will become for Fleet Managers etc to install ‘at base’ – either for travelling salesmen or customers (as a courtesy).

For more on this story and the latest in EV news, head on over to WhichEV.

THE WHICHEV VIEW: Is Dacia about to shake up the European EV market?

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By WhichEV

Back in 2019, WhichEV carried a story that quoted the (then) CEO of VW saying that electric vehicles would require something like 40% fewer parts than traditional petrol/diesel cars… and that this would provide huge cost savings in the future.

It was ‘in the future’ because of the massive cost of batteries – and only once batteries became cheaper/power trains become more efficient – that prices might fall.

It can be argued that ever since then BMW and Mercedes have both struggled to put a competitive option in the market.

Looking at the ‘UK Top 10 Best Selling Cars’ over recent years, the average price is under £26,000, while the most popular car was a Ford Fiesta and the top 10 were basically all petrol/diesel (with the possible exception of the Tesla Model Y).

At the same time, the average price of the advertised EV has been closer to £48,000

Mercedes/BMW et al have all been complaining about ‘slow demand’ – without taking into account (a) the recession, and (b) the fact that their cars are £10-20,000 more expensive (like for like) as other EVs – because of battery costs

Something needs to give in the market

Someone needs to step in/up and release a highly affordable new EV – with 4 doors, sensible range – and a low, low price

Cue Dacia.

Using previous generation tech/batteries, this car should do around 115 miles, but they are claiming up to 137 mile range.

Remember, that data suggests that the average city-dwelling Brit drives around 20 miles a day – so this is nearly 1 week’s range ‘around town’.

The smaller battery means that a ‘stripped down/entry level’ version will be close to £16,000 – which COULD translate to a lease price around £120 a month.

In Europe, they will be releasing a mini-van version, with rear seats taken out for more cargo space – which could be good for local traders/handymen etc.

Read more on this story over at WhichEV…

THE WHICHEV VIEW: One million battery EVs are now registered for the UK’s roads – Where next?

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By WhichEV

January 2024, the UK automotive sector marked a significant milestone with the registration of the country’s millionth battery electric vehicle (BEV), highlighting a growing trend towards greener transportation. This achievement coincided with an 8.2% increase in new car registrations, totalling 142,876 units, marking the strongest start to a year since 2020 and continuing an 18-month streak of growth.

However, this rise was predominantly seen in the fleet market, which surged by 29.9%, in contrast to a 15.8% decline in private retail sales.

BEVs accounted for 20,935 of the new registrations in January, up 21% from the previous year, bringing the total BEV registrations to 1,001,677 since records began. Despite this growth, the BEV market share of 14.7% for January was slightly lower than the overall performance in 2023. The industry also saw an increase in plug-in hybrid (PHEV) registrations by 31.1%, while hybrid vehicle (HEV) registrations experienced a minor decrease.

For a deeper dive on this story, head over to WhichEV.

THE WHICHEV VIEW: Ioniq 5 N NPX1 revealed by Hyundai

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By WhichEV

Hyundai Motor Company has been pioneering in the car market since its inception in 1967 – and it has just made a splash at the Tokyo Auto Salon 2024 with the unveiling of the ‘IONIQ 5 N NPX1.’

This concept model, laden with prototype N Performance Parts – aimed at enhancing the high-performance electric vehicle (EV) experience. The resulting vehicle looks serious and promises a boost in performance and handling. Hyundai is looking to develop and release ‘N’ variants of future EVs.

The venture into N Performance Parts was first launched in 2019, and marks Hyundai’s ongoing dedication to high-quality tuning parts for its customers. This particular journey began in the ICE-age with vehicles like the Elantra N, i30 N, and i20 N.

Read more about the new model over at WhichEV…

THE WHICHEV VIEW: Mahle seeks to establish global standard for wireless EV charging

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

By WhichEV

In a pivotal move for the electric vehicle (EV) charging landscape, SAE International, a revered non-profit organisation dedicated to advancing mobility technologies, has endorsed Mahle’s positioning system as the worldwide standard solution for wireless EV charging. The selection of Mahle’s technology marks a significant leap in achieving standardisation in inductive charging, effectively putting in place the last piece of the wireless charging puzzle – that has kept this option from moving forward for almost a decade.

The key technology, a brainchild of Mahle, addresses a critical hurdle in standardisation. If successful, this could allow for a fast, comprehensive launch for commercial wireless charging – revolutionising battery charging for electric and hybrid vehicles. This recognition by a body like SAE International, underscores Mahle’s prowess in electrification and sets a compelling momentum for the future of e-mobility, as highlighted by Arnd Franz, Chairman of the Mahle Management Board and CEO.

Read this fascinating story in full over at WhichEV…

THE WHICHEV VIEW: Demand for used EVs on the rise

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

By WhichEV

In a rapidly evolving automotive landscape, the world of used electric vehicles is experiencing a significant resurgence. The latest data from Auto Trader’s Retail Price Index reveals a compelling narrative, where the recovery in used EV values is driven by a combination of increasing consumer demand for greener vehicles and a softening in the recent surge of supply. With the average retail value of a used EV increasing by 0.6% on a month-on-month basis, the market is showing signs of stabilising and robustly defying a year-on-year decline.

The most striking revelation from the data is the continuous surge in used EV prices. So far in October, used EVs have seen their average retail value increase to £32,203, marking a 0.6% month-on-month growth. This surge comes after a stagnant September, which followed 12 consecutive months of decline. While prices remain down compared to the previous year, the rate of year-on-year decline is showing signs of softening at almost -20%, marking the shallowest rate since June.

Read WhichEV’s full analysis here…