Are New Electric Cars too expensive?
The mass adoption of electric cars into the UK is well underway. We are now well passed the “education” point of the buying circle and consumers (personal, business and salary sacrifice) are choosing an EV in some considerable numbers. In a recent survey from the BVRLA it was revealed that hybrid and plug-in technologies are now overtaking diesel options (accounting for 36% of the new car leasing registrations), but are new Electric cars too expensive?
In addition, 20% of the fleet reviewed in the survey confirmed that they now adopt some form of electrification (which will include vehicles outside of pure-EVs). Not surprisingly the diesel’s share of the market fell – now accounting for less than 50% of the total market for the first time.
In addition, the entire car leasing market has seen an 8.7% decline in fleet in comparison to 2019, with the business contract hire decline of 11% accounting for much of this. In comparison, personal leasing grew 4%. With the 2030 “end of combustion” looming and considerable benefits to company car drivers and salary sacrifice customers, will business leasing find some resurgence over the next few years?
Are new EVs going to be Luxury Models only?
The availability of suitably priced product is going to be important. Many manufacturers are seemingly launching luxury and newsworthy EV models. Only last night, Audi’s answer to the Tesla Model S was officially launched – the fully electric e-tron GT. Available as a GT Quattro and RS e-tron GT, this performance model is going to be made available to the UK during 2021 (April/May). The e-Tron GT will be priced at circa £125,000 and above, so this is clearly not ready for mass adoption just yet!
However, for any luxury or petrol headed-EV drivers, the 646ps RS e-Tron is going to offer an exciting opportunity for some drivers. With a 155mph top speed and 3.3 second 0-62 times coupled with an overall range of 255 miles on a full charge (circa 215 cold weather and 290 in warmer climates), the new RS e-Tron is certainly useable day-to-day. However, compare that to the 500 mile plus range of the equally priced Plaid+ and it’s 1.5 second 0-62 times and you have a quandary! On the e-Tron RS the 93kWh battery will charge in 9 hours at 11kw AC and is capable of post-250kW DC charging attaining 20-80% in 20 minutes. For a director looking for a EV-supercar, the 1% BiK will only cost them circa £50 a month on their personal tax.
We can appreciate the e-Tron GT is an incredible option but isn’t this just showing us that EVs are far too expensive for the average consumer? What is important to identify is that there are more cost-effective options. The reality is that we live in a world of show and promise, the “Insta-gratification” generation, which means manufacturers need to raise their profiles through these luxury options, In contrast, the usable and realistic electric cars are more subtly advertised.
It isn’t that they are not due to market, or that they don’t exist, they simply get less of a furore and attention. As Audi launch their supercar so did Mercedes launch their small electric SUV and crossover option – the Mercedes EQA. Configure your new EQA leasing deal here
You only have to look at the commonly best-selling cars in the UK – Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa, VW Golf, Mercedes A-Class and the like. Manufacturers clearly have to respond with like for like EV options for these customers. With the new EQA, Mercedes are reacting to the consensus which enjoys the Merc A-Class and GLA-Class with this fully electric alternative. Available as an EQA Sport, EQA Premium, EQA Premium and EQA Premium Plus, this will emulate the approach to the other vehicles within the brand.
Available from April 2021, the 80kWh battery EQA offers a WLTP range of 220 miles (expect a true range of 185 in cold weather and 250 in warmer weather) along with top speeds of 99mph and 0-62 times of 8.9 seconds. An 11kW AC charger will achieve full capacity at 7 hours and a 100kW DC options allowing 20-80% in 37 minutes. For a company car driver this is only a £16 per month BiK commitment from April 2021! For personal customers, we expect the best EQA leasing deals to be circa £300; when you take into account cost-savings on fuel and servicing, this represents a feasible mass adoption vehicle.
As pictured here, VW have built upon the success of their e-Golf with their new ID option in the form of the ID3. The eCarLease team were kindly offered a week-long demonstration by our VW fleet partners, Johnsons Cars . The new VW ID is very much the Golf of the electric world and will enable both the personal and business customer the opportunity to own/lease an electric car.
To access most budgets, VW have a range of specifications – Business Pro, Family Po, Style Pro, Life Pro and a Tour Pro S (with a bigger battery). A rumoured addition is the “R” option, which will offer customers a performance option in the VW EV range. With the bigger Tigaun-esque ID4 also now launched, we expect many more customers to be able to afford the transition into the world of EV driving and lifestyle. Expect leasing deals of £250 per month on the new VW ID3 to launch in 2021.
In terms of the car shown, the Volkswagen ID.3 ELECTRIC HATCHBACK 150kW Life Pro Performance 62kWh 5dr Auto, this is based on the following configuration:
- Metallic – Glacier white
- Artvelours cloth – Black/black
- 18″ Aero steel wheels
As standard the car includes heated rear window, ESP, Bluetooth, wireless app, adaptive cruise control with front assist/emergency braking/distance monitoring, driver alert system, lane assist, multifunction camera, 10” touch screen infotainment, 5.3” digital dashboard.
Electric heated and adjustable doors mirrors, DAB radio, exterior e-sound, LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, 1 zone climate, ambient interior lighting, comfort pack, infotainment pack, heated front and rear seats, keyless go, immobiliser and alarm.
The vehicle also includes the Mode 3 32-amp / 7.2kW charging cable for charging at public charge points. For an additional price, you can include the 3-pin main charging cable. Also to add to this vehicle is a selection of alloys (18/19/20” options) plus bi-colour exterior styling.
Like many modern car makers, there are few options to add, in order to make WLTP testing much easier. You effectively choose your specification ranging from Life-Business-Style-Family-Tech-Max-Tour. This makes the process far easier for all concerned!
In terms of the technical information, company car and business users can note the £33,555.00 P11d and CO2 at 0g/km. The 62 kWh battery delivers a 263 mile range( WLTP), 204ps, 0-62 times of 7.3 seconds.
Expect 180 miles of range in cold weather on the Id3 and 250 in warmer weather Service intervals are set at every 24months or 11,000 miles, whichever lands sooner.
Charging times on the ID3 are just over 6 hours for a 11kW AC charging unit for 0-100% with a 100kW DC option getting 20-80% in 30 minutes.