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EV manufacturers 'must cut prices'

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Electric vehicles are an effective solution for battling carbon emissions, but exorbitant prices are hampering their popularity, a leading trade body has said.

The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) has urged EV manufactures to slash prices in order to make the vehicles more market-friendly.

BVRLA chief executive John Lewis said: "More than a dozen new electric and hybrid vehicles are set to hit the UK market over the next year, but most of them will be decorating showrooms unless manufacturers are more realistic on pricing.

"Ultra-low carbon transport is a necessity and electric vehicles have a big part to play in getting us there, but these vehicles are simply too expensive for most fleets at the moment."

With motoring costs such as car insurance and fuel rising, drivers are keener than ever to find an economical vehicle.

Only 812 people have taken up the Government's £5,000 Plug-In-Car Grant so far this year, according to figures releases by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. The BVRLA believes that the scheme has failed to evoke the desired response because of the high prices of EVs.

Running a Nissan Leaf would cost £5,000 more than a Volkswagen Golf Bluemotiont diesel car over the typical three-year, 36,000 mile lifecycle of a company car, the BVRLA said.

© Press Association 2011