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EVs won't be top eco technology until 2020

Date: 16 August 2010

Electric vehicles won't overtake hybrids as the biggest-selling eco technology in the UK for another 10 years, at which point the two green developments will account for 21% of the 2.4m sales forecast by Glass's.

Until 2020, hybrid cars using a combination of petrol engines and electric motor will lead electric vehicles, but in 2020, Glass's predicted that there would be 274,000 EVs sold in the UK, compared with 235,000 hybrids. The UK's 21% take-up of hybrids and EVs is set to match France and Italy and lag behind Germany's 26% of new vehicles sold in 2020, the firm predicted in its Alternative Powertrain Vehicles in Europe report published this month.

Glass's has also set out a three-point plan for vehicle manufacturers to best gain acceptance for electric tech. It said car makers need to offer long warranties of at least eight years, with a standard for battery minimum charge levels such as replacing them at 80% efficiency, battery buy-back schemes to allow early adopters to swap early units for improved technology, and manufacturers leasing the battery to remove the risk from the purchaser. Glass's does, though, admit that the last point creates shared ownership issues that would have to be overcome.

"How the industry responds to the battery residual value issue will be key to consumer confidence," said Glass's boss Andy Carroll.

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