According to a report by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, if the UK Government fails to increase the uptake of electric cars, motorists could miss out on £9 billion in savings over the next 20 years.
The report found that using small to mid-sized electric vehicles (EVs) can save owners between £500 and £800 a year in running costs compared with petrol equivalents.
However, the lack of available second-hand EVs could result in a cost of £9 billion in missed savings by 2043.
The report estimated that if the UK Government follows its proposed level for the incoming ‘zero-emission vehicle mandate’, there will be 2.1 million fewer used small and mid-sized EVs available for sale by 2033, compared with a scenario where ministers adopt the car industry’s ‘high’ sales projections.
The mandate will require manufacturers to increase the proportion of new cars and vans sold in the UK that are zero-emission, with the level set at 22% for 2024, increasing each year until 2035 when 100% of sales must be zero-emission.
The ECIU analysis suggested that if the take-up of EVs were ‘high’, their market share would reach 34% in 2024 and as high as 60% in 2027.
Colin Walker, from the ECIU, warned that if government policy on new EVs is slow, the growth of the second-hand EV market will be held back, potentially resulting in families facing more expensive motoring.
The Department for Transport responded by saying it was ‘working closely’ with the car industry ‘on the path to all new cars being zero-emission by 2035’.
The ECIU believes manufacturers could sell more EV stock in the UK if the country sets a tougher ZEV mandate than the European Union.
Meanwhile, modelling by the RAC Foundation has found that a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions from cars between 2021 and 2030 can be achieved by major changes in other areas, such as battery electric cars accounting for 35% of the total car fleet in 2030.
The analysis found that reducing total carbon emissions from cars necessary to meet the UK’s climate change goals could be achieved without drivers travelling less overall.
RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding highlighted the importance of the next car people buys, stating that there is a case for pausing to see how things play out in the next year or two rather than falling back to petrol.