From Wednesday, drivers in Britain can expect grants of as much as 1,500 pounds ($1,987) on cars that cost less than 32,000 pounds, the Department for Transport said, with about 20 models continuing to receive subsidies. The change means the incentive has now been halved in the space of less than a year.
The decision will make funding to go further and allow more people to make the switch to EVs after sticker prices have come down, the government said. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said lowering the cap is a setback to the country’s plans to phase out internal combustion powered cars by 2030.
- 30.9% of all cars made in the UK in October were either battery electric (BEV), plug-in (PHEV), or hybrid electric (HEV) models.
- UK car manufacturing fell October 41.4% to 64,726 units produced.
- Output for domestic and overseas markets declines, down 37.9% and 42.1%.
It was the fourth straight month of decline and the weakest October since 1956 as firms grappled with the global shortage of semiconductors which led to production stoppages. The weak output totals compared to last year are exacerbated by the closure of a UK car plant at the end of July, a deficit that will impact figures for a year.
According to new analysis from the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), 90,000 automotive technicians will be required to provide sufficient workforce to service the volume of zero-emissions vehicles predicted to be on UK roads by 2030 – the government’s Road to Zero deadline.
While the automotive sector has identified this requirement and is working hard to retrain and upskill automotive technicians, the professional body is predicting that there will be a shortfall of 35,700 technicians by 2030, with 2026 marking the point at which the skills gap will become evident.
Steve Nash, CEO of the Institute of the Motor Industry »
As of 2020, there were 15,400 qualified TechSafe technicians in the UK. That number represents just 6.5% of the UK automotive sector and was already giving us cause for concern. Our new analysis paints an even more challenging picture.
The pace of EV adoption is accelerating, even while the issues around infrastructure remain a barrier. Once the charging network is fit for purpose, combined with electric vehicles becoming more financially accessible, the next big challenge will be how to ensure we have a workforce adequately qualified to provide the essential servicing, maintenance, and repair to keep these vehicles safe on the roads. And that’s where we believe government attention – and funds – should be focused now.
Whether it’s looking at incentives to retrain the existing workforce, or ensuring that school-leavers and people changing the direction of their career are excited about the prospects of working in such a fast-moving sector, there needs to be a mind-shift in how to fix the widening skills gap. Significant investment is being ploughed into infrastructure, but the government still seems to be ignoring the fact that without a skilled workforce, it will fail in its decarbonisation ambitions.
Using the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) upper scenario on EV adoption, the IMI predicts that the number of qualified technicians required by 2030 is 90,000. As of 2020 there were 15,400 qualified, and using current forecast trends, by 2030 there could be a shortfall of 35,700 qualified technicians, risking the safety of technicians and undermining confidence that electric vehicles can be serviced, maintained, and repaired by a garage with the right skills.
The figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) indicate around 287,000 plug-in vehicles will be registered in 2021 – more the number registered between 2010 and 2019.
According to the SMMT, a total of 271,962 new battery electric (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) were registered between 2010 and 2019. However, with more than 236,000 new BEVs and PHEVs registered during the first 10 months of the year, the SMMT is expecting that number to be surpassed by the end of 2021.
So far this year, BEVs have accounted for most of the UK’s plug-in car registrations, with more than 141,000 registered between January 1 and October 31. In comparison, just over 95,400 plug-in hybrids have been registered over the same period. Together, the two technologies account for 16.6 percent of all new car sales in the UK.
Elsewhere » The Energyst
Demand for used battery electric (BEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles in the UK continued to grow in Q3 2021, according to the latest figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Reflecting recent trends in both the new and used markets, BEV demand rose 56.4% with 14,182 cars changing hands. PHEV transactions rose by 43.3% to 14,990 EVs. Meanwhile, overall UK used car transactions fell -6.2% against strong Q3 2020 to 2,034,342 units.
Indeed, the number of used BEVs that changed hands during the period was the highest recorded in any quarter. Hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) transactions also increased by 20.3% to 40,157.
Kia registered 7,436 vehicles in October 2021, representing a year-on-year increase of 22.1 percent over October 2020. 22.8 percent of these sales (1,699 units) were fully electric, boosted thanks to the first customer deliveries of the Kia EV6 (349 units). With sales of the e-Niro, Soul EV and EV6 combined, Kia topped the United Kingdom’s monthly EV sales charts in October.
So far this year, Kia has sold 81,532 units in the UK, with battery electric vehicles (BEV) accounting for 14.4 percent of the brand’s total sales this year (11,762 units). Kia UK’s year-to-date sales are 28.9 percent higher than the same period in 2020, and only 5.6 percent off the same period in 2019, the brand’s best-selling year on record.
The Kia Niro family (including Self-Charging Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid and e-Niro models) was the brand’s best-selling model in the UK in October, with 2,479 units sold in total.
Paul Philpott, President and CEO of Kia UK Limited, said »
October has been another strong month for Kia sales volumes, particularly for our growing line-up of battery EVs. With a strong bank of more than 1,600 pre-orders, we were particularly excited to deliver our first EV6 orders to UK customers in October – a milestone which enabled our dealers to boost our EV sales to new heights.