UK sales of electric cars have yet to take off, according to various sources. The Guardian reports that sales of new electric cars dropped from 397 units in 2007 to a scanty 55 units in 2009. This is a fall eight times greater than the recession-induced slump in new car sales overall.
Assorted pundits are predicting that the coalition government’s offering up to £5,000 towards the price of a new electric car will boost sales. But will it be too little, too late? Richard Dyer, Friends of the Earth’s transport campaigner, said: “The number of electric car sales is certainly disappointing. It could well be down to the recession, and the fact that they are priced at a premium over normal cars. But the government grant in January should mean a change in the fortunes of electric cars.”
In their report, J.D. Power analysts said, ‘Global sales of electric cars are expected to reach 940,000 units this year compared with 732,000 units last year, with the number jumping to 3 million in 2015’. However, there is evidence from the same source that hybrids, rather than plug-in cars will be leading the revolution in car-buying practices.
J.D. Power point out that, “The (plug-in) Nissan Leaf and the Tesla Roadster have a driving range of 100 miles to 250 miles, depending on the size of the battery, whereas a (hybrid) Toyota Prius can go 600 miles.” They add that, “We think sales of cars powered by fuel cells will remain below 20,000 units per year for the next 10 years: The technology is currently too expensive, and this isn’t likely to change soon.”