Auto dealers are dramatically slashing the price of their new electric models in a desperate attempt to boost sales in the face of falling demand for electric vehicles (EVs).
Discounts of up to 14% are now available on select electric vehicles as manufacturers seek to whet appetites – a telltale indicator that consumer interest is stagnating.
This translates to cash savings of over £4,000 on some electric vehicles, according to market research conducted earlier this month.
This is the latest in a flurry of reports in recent weeks indicating a drop in demand for electric cars as there are just 79 months left before the government’s ban on new petrol sales is introduced. and diesels from 2030.
Dealerships are sharply slashing prices for new electric vehicles to boost demand: New market research has found that manufacturers are sharply discounting electric models to boost demand. A Nissan Leaf, for example, can be purchased 14.2% off the list price
The biggest market reflection of declining demand for electric vehicles in recent months has come from Tesla, with the American brand making headlines for cutting the price of its new models several times so far this year to attract customers.
But other brands are now starting to follow suit, reducing their showroom prices in a bid to attract more buyers, according to this latest analysis.
Which car? sent mystery shoppers to dealerships across the UK to seek out the biggest discounts on battery-powered models.
The Renault Zoe in the ‘Iconic’ trim level has an on-the-road price of £31,995. However, what car? says you can buy one for just £29,262 – that’s a saving of 8.8%, which equates to £2,734 off
The Peugeot e-208 is a relatively popular small electric vehicle. This ‘Allure Premium+’ spec car would normally cost £32,645 but dealers have slashed it by 5.8 per cent
Discounts of up to 5.7% are available from Smart UK dealers for the EQ Fortwo Coupe. This translates to £1,250 off the OTR price of £22,225
Peugeot’s e-2008 is a crossover version of the smaller e-208 above. Dealers reduce OTR price by more than 5%
The research found that the top 12 discount electric vehicles come with an average cash saving of 6%, or the cash equivalent of £2,185.
The Nissan Leaf 110kW Acenta tops the savings with a 14.2% discount – equivalent to £4,105 – offered by dealership sales staff.
Renault outlets are also willing to discount a Zoe R135 100kW Iconic by 8.8%, representing a saving of £2,734.
And Peugeot’s dealer network was found to be selling the e-208 100kW Allure Premium for 5.8 per cent less than retail – that’s £1,831 less than shown on the French brand’s website .
Nissan’s Ariya is its latest family SUV. Although only arriving in UK showrooms, dealers are slashing the list price of £50,140 by 5.2%, a saving of over £2,600.
Citroen dealers have been found to discount the all-electric E-C4 from £35,495 to £33,761
A rival of the Citroën E-C4 is the Vauxhall Mokka-e. Dealers are slashing prices by almost 5%, which equates to £1,806 off the retail price of £38,835
Jaguar, the British car brand set to go fully electric within the next 3 years, currently has only one electric vehicle on sale: the I-Pace. Dealers set to slash £73,500 off trim level by 4.5 per cent
What Car? also found that over the past six months, the average combined cash and finance discount for fully electric vehicles in the UK has increased by 33.3%.
In comparison, rebates for petrol and diesel models increased by 10.8% and 8.8% respectively.
Which car? editor Steve Huntingford said: “Electric car discounts have always been low due to demand outstripping supply, but our latest target price research clearly shows there are big savings now available on some models.
Mazda’s MX-30 is another team of EV What Car?
The Renault Megane E-Tech is another fairly new model to enter the UK market, with first deliveries only arriving at the start of the year. Despite this, dealers are driving prices down by 4%
BMW’s i4 – the electric equivalent of a 3 Series – is another pricey EV with a discount. Dealers are slashing the price of the £51,500 eDrive M Sport version by nearly £2,000
Last month, online car market Auto Trader said buyer interest in new electric vehicles had fallen by nearly two-thirds since the start of last year.
Its own data shows a 65% drop in demand for electric cars compared to the previous 12 months.
From the company Road to 2030 report attributes the drop in demand to a variety of factors, such as their high prices, the crisis in the cost of living, higher interest rates for loans and an increase in energy prices.
One of Britain’s biggest car dealers has also spoken of a drop in appetite for battery-powered vehicles, saying demand is “cooling down” due to a lack of available charging points.
Vertu Motors criticized “inadequate public charging infrastructure” as contributing to slowing momentum around electric vehicles.
Even the UK motor trade body has admitted that electric car registrations are not growing as fast as they expect or would like – and have already adjusted their sales forecasts this year and next accordingly.
Last month, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders lowered its forecast for the market share of electric vehicles in 2023 from 19.7% to 18.4%.
It also lowered its forecast for 2024, saying it now estimates 22.6% of all registrations next year will be purely electric cars, down from 23.3% it had forecast in January.
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