The same thing happens every time a driver gets behind the wheels of an electric Polestar and takes a spin. “They slam on the brakes and start laughing,” says Jonathan Goodman, CEO of the Swedish-Chinese automaker’s UK subsidiary. “Once they’ve driven it, they’ll want to get in.”
Regular test drive events, which sell out weeks in advance, have aided the brand in converting interest into sales. Last year’s deliveries more than tripled, and the company now has a huge waiting list for its stylish executive sports saloons, that start at £39,000. It isn’t the only one.
When it comes to selecting their next automobile, more car buyers are carefully considering if an electric vehicle is right for them. Despite the fact that the market is hampered by semiconductor shortages, which have caused buyers to wait months for both electric and standard car deliveries, battery cars are nevertheless gaining traction. A complete quarter of new models which were sold in the United Kingdom in December were electric, bolstered by a Tesla supply that arrived late.
With the UK expected to phase out new petrol and diesel car sales by the year 2030, and hybrids by the year 2035, practically everyone will have to adopt them sooner or later. “I believe that once buyers get their hands on all these products and begin to drive and understand them, they will take off, and I believe that it will gain traction much more rapidly than people think,” says Mark Raban, Leader of dealer group Lookers, that sells electric vehicles through its VW dealerships.
“Understand them” is the essential phrase in Raban’s judgment. Electric vehicles, like all new technologies, are plagued by myths, ranging from outright lies of not being able to charge in the rain as well as being more prone to catch fire to true-life horror stories about motorists stranded at far-flung and broken charging stations.
However, there are some significant obstacles to overcome. “The biggest barriers are cost and infrastructure concerns,” says Mike Hawes, CEO of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the industry’s trade body in the United Kingdom. “These are the most significant roadblocks for consumers thinking about making this type of purchase.” There are a few crucial questions to ask if you’re thinking about purchasing one.
Are they more costly?
Environmental considerations have given place to economical worries as EVs approach mainstream adoption. First and foremost, do the numbers add up? For years, electric vehicles’ selling pitch was that their higher purchase prices were offset by cheaper recharging and maintenance costs.
Attractive financial offers, on the other hand, mean that some are now cheaper upfront, even before considering the later savings. The math is apparent for anyone who can buy a vehicle via a company or a company car plan — or via their own business. For starters, any company that purchases a fully electric vehicle can deduct the entire cost from profits in the first year of possession. While workplace car programs have become less appealing in general, the perks that remain are significantly skewed in favor of battery cars.
The greatest is the Benefit in Kind (BIK) tax, which is levied as a personal income tax on the driver. This is computed as a percentage of the car’s worth, then divided by the individual tax rate and spread out over a year. Any company automobile used just for business — which is becoming increasingly rare — is exempt from the BIK tax. The BIK rate, on the other hand, becomes a big concern for work cars that can be utilized for personal trips as well. The BIK tax rate for gasoline cars is at least 20% and can be much higher. It is only 1% of the car’s worth per year for electric cars.