Select's Electric roundup covers all the latest news from the fast moving world of electric. This month, we take a look at the biggest stories from a busy June. Including the plans to bring a Tesla gigafactory to the UK, why the industry is optimistic for a post-COVID recovery, VW's new 'agency' sales model, a potential £24bn boost electric cars can bring to the UK economy and we look ahead at the biggest EV models arriving in 2020 and beyond.
Tesla 'Gigafactory' could land in UK
The UK government continues its push towards the widespread growth of electric cars, as the Department for International Trade (DIT) lays down initial plans to bring a Tesla “gigafactory” to the Isles. Tesla has seen exponential growth in the UK, across both leasing and buying, largely since the introduction of its first mainstream model, the Model 3. With the new Tesla Model Y on the horizon, the DIT and Government affiliates may view this as an opportune time to encourage the tech and automotive giant to pitch up in the UK. The plans remain in their formative stages at the moment, with the government tasked with not only convincing Tesla to start production in the UK, but also with identifying a suitable location to house what would be a 4 million square foot site, the size of almost 52 football pitches.
Industry set to bounce back from COVID-19 slump
The car industry is forecasting a significant upturn in trade once further lockdown measures resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic are eased. While the industry suffered an unprecedented hit on sales at the height of the virus’ spread throughout the world, as a combination of production shutdowns and consumer fears contributed to the worst month for new car registrations since 1946. But, as many countries begin to relax lockdown and distancing measures – Reuters report that the pandemic could yet accelerate the growth of electric cars, as these vehicles gradually close the price gap on petrol and diesel rivals and drivers look to sustainable alternatives to public transport.
VW borrow ‘The Tesla model’ for sales of electric cars
Volkswagen recently announced a new sales model which reveals a lot about the way manufacturers are beginning to view their service they provide. In a move to what many in the industry are calling ‘The Tesla model’ VW will dispense with the dealership “haggling” and finance process and take direct control of all their I.D sales at a manufacturer level. The move comes after Tesla’s highly successful non-dealership model and the suspected reduced footfall in car dealerships as much of the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Volkswagen have been keen to stress that dealers will not suffer financially, with a commission received even if the car is bought online. VW were quoted on the move saying: "The dealer is relieved of the burden of financing the vehicle and the sales process is simplified by the elimination price negotations".
UK motorists still cautious on electric
Despite the incredible rise in popularity of EVs, manufacturers may be alarmed with data released by InsureTheGap, which suggests over half of UK motorists are still not comfortable buying an electric car. As part of a study of 2,000 UK drivers, respondents cited lack of charging points and their own high mileage as the biggest sticking points for moving to electric. 59% of women, as opposed to 54% of men showed reservations about moving to electric, while the difference was more stark across ages, with 62% of over 55’s admitting too many concerns about electric cars, as opposed to just half of 18-34 year olds surveyed.
EVs could give giant £24bn boost to economy
The benefits of electric cars could far exceed their favourable environmental impact. In a report published in BusinessGreen.com, the move to electric cars could provide a welcome £24bn cash injection to the UK economy in just five years. With the government still on track for the end of petrol and diesel sales in just 15 years, there could be a roadmap for manufacturers to recover from the recent slump in sales as demand for electric cars remains expected to soar over the coming years. Electric car demand could initiate a £12bn boost for battery demand, £10bn in power electronics and £2bn for electric machines.
Electric set for bumper 2020-21
As we head into the final six months of the year, there is still plenty of new electric car releases on the horizon for drivers to get their teeth into. There's reason for Tesla to feel a little hot under the collar with the release of the 373-mile range BMW i4 in 2021. The release will mark BMW's first major incision into the market since the release of the i3 and i8 over six years ago.
Citroen are looking to phase out the current C4 range, having already discontinued the original model in 2018. That move is to make way for the E-C4 Crossover which will be a major moment in the affordably priced electric car market. At the luxury end of the scale, there's lots of excitement for the new Polestar 2, with incredible performance and a predicted range of 290 miles, the release from Volvo's sub-brand represents another serious rival to early adopters Tesla and Nissan.