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Home » Green Car News » Alternative Fuels

Electric Car Sales drop 58% 

(06 Dec 2008)

Nice Mega City electric cars

   

Electric car sales have more than halved this year. Just 156 electric cars were sold from January to October 2008, compared to 374 for the same period in 2007 according to cleangreencars.co.uk.

News of the 58% drop comes as one of Londonís two electric car distributors, Nice Car Company, was plunged into administration. Set up in 2006, the company had been selling an all-electric version of the French-made Aixam Mega along with a range of electric motorbikes and electric commercial vehicles.

It had also planned to bring a range of new models, including a two-seater and MPV, to market by the end of the year. However, sales dropped to fewer than one car a week.

There are around 1,100 all-electric cars currently on UK roads. The vast majority are owned by Londoners and are quadricycles rather than fully type-approved cars. Congestion-charge concessions for all-electric vehicles helped create the market, however customers have since turned away.

So what hit sales?

CO2-based congestion charge proposals
Ken Livingstoneís proposals to exempt sub-120 g/km CO2 petrol and diesel cars from the congestion charge damaged the market. The proposals were subsequently scrapped by new mayor Boris Johnson, but many had turned away from all-electric motoring in the interim.

Electric quadricycles and safety
Quadricycles are not required to undergo the rigorous crash tests of standard cars like a Corsa or Fiesta. Their safety record has therefore been questioned with programmes like BBC Top Gear highlighting poor performance in an impact.

City of Londonís U-turn on parking concessions
Electric cars were exempt from parking charges in the City of London, until a U-turn announced in June this year. The concession was thought to be worth up to £4,000 a year for those regularly parking in the City.

Models by mainstream car makers
Many early-adopters have become wary of dipping their toes in the market with independent companies like GoinGreen and NICE, particularly since mainstream car makers (Smart, BMW Mini, Mitsubishi) announced their plans to bring electric cars to market.

 

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