The UK’s EV transition could be fast-tracked by over a decade if the country makes more use of the second-hand electric vehicle (EV) market, a new report shows.
Research from the Green Finance Institute found that accessing the used EV market could boost uptake in the UK by as much as 17m, should barriers including consumer confidence and charging infrastructure be addressed.
The report – which surveyed 2,000 UK drivers and received contributions from a number of electric vehicle groups and dealerships – found that over a quarter of drivers would not buy a used EV unless concerns around battery health, affordability and charging infrastructure were addressed.
Nearly three quarters of the 21 dealerships involved in the research recognised battery lifespan as one of the top consumer concerns in the context of used EVs.
Of the drivers who said they wouldn’t buy a used EV, 62 per cent cited concerns around battery health.
Lauren Pamma, programme director at the Green Finance Institute, said: “Without the used market, the EV transition is destined to stall. 82 per cent of car sales in 2021 were second-hand in the UK. So, if we’re serious about driving EV adoption en masse, we need to channel this appetite for second-hand cars towards EVs.”
“Our research makes clear that the demand for EVs is already there, but to unlock the used market, we need to boost consumer confidence on battery health, charging infrastructure, and affordability.”
The government has faced growing criticism this year over poor EV charging infrastructure, which has dissuaded drivers and businesses from making the switch, due to fears of being unable to re-charge easily.
In May, the SMMT said that so-called “chargepoint anxiety” had “cast a cloud” over the sector, as EV sales forecasts were lowered.
Shortly after, the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) warned the government not to increase manufacturing of EV’s unless problems surrounding a lack of charge points were addressed.
Marc Palmer, brand and insights director at Auto Trader, said: “The vast majority of drivers buy a second-hand vehicle, so the used market is fundamental to the EV transition – it’s where mainstream electrification becomes affordable, and opens up sustainable motoring to the millions we need to make the switch in order to meet our targets.”
“But the themes and barriers highlighted in the Green Finance Institute’s report echo what we’re seeing – battery and charging confidence are vital to mainstream adoption, so support for the used EV market is critical.”