Electric car production slows as drivers opt for cheaper wet fuel models

Electric cars are approximately £10,000 more expensive than petrol equivalents

An industry body warned that carmakers are planning to reduce the number of electric cars they produce because the rising cost of battery-powered vehicles makes them more expensive for drivers.

After just three months, the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), an energy group that acts between manufacturers and the government, has cut its estimate of UK EV production by 25%.

APC expects that the UK will produce 280,000 electric cars by 2025, a drop from its previous estimate of 360,000.

According to the organisation, the downgrade was caused by “an uncertain economy that is expected to drive buyers toward cheaper models.” Therefore, manufacturers are likely to choose to build affordable cars.

Although electric cars cost about £10,000 more than their petrol counterparts, they have lower running costs and require less maintenance due to the fact that there are fewer moving components. They can often be cheaper if you drive enough miles over your life.

Drivers are starting to abandon EVs, as electric prices remain high and fuel costs continue to fall from their peak last summer.

The lowest prices for petrol since Russia invaded Ukraine in February are now.

According to the AA, average pump prices dropped to 149.74 pence a litre Monday, from 191.53 pence last summer. This decrease reduces the cost-per-mile advantage that electric cars have over petrol vehicles.

According to the APC, other factors that contributed to its downgrade are delayed investments and persistent supply problems for certain components such as computer chips.

The UK’s automotive industry is planning to ban petrol and diesel-only cars by 2030, and hybrids five years later. However, many manufacturers have been slow to make the transition.

Although Nissan owns a Gigafactory near Sunderland and is currently building a second plant with China’s Envision, competitors such as Jaguar Land Rover and Toyota have yet to construct their own battery plants here.

Mini announced plans to shift production from its Oxford plant to China, in an attempt to deal a serious blow to the UK’s automotive industry.

BMW, which has brands such as Mini and Rolls-Royce said Monday that its production of battery-powered vehicles doubled to 215,755 last year, or 9pc of the total 2.4m cars it produced.

With 43,744 sold, the all-electric Mini Cooper SE was the most popular Mini model.

Rival Mercedes, which produced 2m cars last year, reported that 117,800 were purely electrical, an increase in production of 124pc. These plug-in models still represent 5.8pc.

The Advanced Propulsion Centre has downgraded UK forecasts, but it kept European production of battery cars and vans unaffected. It forecasts that the continent will produce 4.8 million of these vehicles by 2025.

According to the APC, 12 million battery cars will be produced in Europe by 2030. The UK will produce 1.17 million EVs.

The report stated that the rising cost of lithium and the worsening economic outlook could lead to car manufacturers turning towards hydrogen-powered vehicles as green alternatives.

Johnson Matthey, a British engineering giant, decided to stop developing batteries a little over a year back and instead focus on hydrogen technology because it was unable to keep up with the developments made in Japan and Korea by established firms like Panasonic and LG.

Hadi Moztarzadeh is the head of technology trends at APC. He stated: “We need to work hard now to implement innovations in real-world scenarios and build and invest in the UK supply chain for the support of the electric vehicle manufacturing sector.

Pieter Nota, a BMW executive said that: “We are confident that we can build upon this success in 2023 as we continue to have a high order intake for fully-electric models.”

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