Electric Car Sales Drop In UK

Following the lead of automobiles with traditional engines, electric car sales have dropped in the UK. From June through September, a mere 308 electric vehicles were purchased through the governmental grant program. The decline in electric vehicle sales is just one piece of bad news for car finance providers, who are seeing business decline on all fronts.


The government grant program for electric cars went into effect in January. Buyers of an electric vehicle are entitled to a £5,000 subsidy. It seems that even this monetary incentive is not enough to make many drivers want to bid farewell to an internal combustion engine vehicle. There were 465 new electric automobiles registered during first quarter 2011. During the second quarter, the figure dropped over 50 percent to 215.

The grant scheme features £43 billion in funding, enough money to subsidize 8,600 electric cars. To date, less than £4 million has been used. Experts doubt that even one-quarter of the funds will be utilized by the time the program ends. Things are similar throughout Europe, even in countries subsidizing as much as £18,000. Throughout the continent, electric car sales are far below predicted figures.

Belgium is one particularly good example, offering a £9,496 government subsidy for electric cars. Between January and July, only 85 electric vehicles were sold there. Any Belgian car finance company that hung its hopes on electric cars is probably considering changing its business model. It does not seem that residents will be taking out many car loans for automobiles powered by electric engines.

Automakers hailed the electric car as the vehicle of the future. However, short driving ranges and limited battery life have negated the many benefits of driving an electric car. The desire to go green and put more green in the pocket at this time may not be as strong as these car manufacturers anticipated.