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Electric car makers put the brakes on UK production because they are too expensive to sell

January 13, 2023

By Paul Homewood

Well, who would have guessed that!

 

 

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Makers of electric cars are slowing down UK production as the vehicles are too expensive for many motorists.

It is now expected that the UK will produce 280,000 fully electric cars and vans in 2025, down from previous estimates of 360,000.

The forecast means only a quarter of car output will be electric within the next two years, lower than prior forecasts of more than a third.

In its latest report, the Advanced Propulsion Centre, which provides taxpayer funding to makers of zero-emissions vehicles, said the ‘uncertain economy’ was expected to push drivers towards cheaper car models for a longer period.

Declining production threatens to scupper a key government plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions, with the UK set to ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030.

The APC added a recovery in sales for 2030 was now ‘uncertain’ due to ongoing supply chain issues, particularly of lithium, a key ingredient in electric car batteries, as well as political tensions across the globe.

A production slowdown has already begun in the UK’s zero-emission car industry, with BMW announcing in October that it would stop production of the electric Mini at its plant in Oxford in order to ship the operation to China. And Jaguar has yet to provide further details on plans to become fully electric by 2025.

Concerns about costs were flagged earlier this week by the RAC, which revealed the average cost of charging an electric car had jumped by 58 per cent since last May.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11621267/Electric-car-makers-brakes-UK-production-drivers-think-vehicles-expensive.html?mc_cid=7cc89f3000&mc_eid=4961da7cb1

Sales of pure electric cars, BEVs, were 267,000 last year, so this new forecast suggests flatlining.

I am not surprised in the least. A large proportion of EV sales are for company cars, due to the various tax advantages bestowed. Most private buyers however appear to be numpties who think they are saving the planet.

EVs offer nothing to the vast majority of the driving public, and it is hard to see any real breakthrough arriving anytime soon.

By coincidence, I was chatting with a BMW Sales Manager this week, who had just been turfed out of his X6 and given the IX electric model (which he says is crap!). The reason was that BMW had been pre-registering a lot of EVs before the end of the year, in order to meet government targets.

He says BMW were under government pressure to do so, though what that pressure is I cannot tell.

And all of this highlights the immense problems facing our car industry as the 2030 deadline nears. They are being forced to invest billions in setting up new assembly lines and engine plants to cater for the new models, whilst at the same time running down conventional car operations. On top of that, they may find that they cannot sell all of the EVs they are producing; or alternatively if they cut back on EV output, they risk losing market share.

61 Comments
  1. GeoffB permalink
    January 13, 2023 6:20 pm

    I am surprised that their are 267,000 numpties that actually bought a BEV last year. The masses are confused about BEV and ICE and will just postpone buying a car until the situation becomes clearer, it is a marketing nightmare, demand has been destroyed, it is a wait and see what happens scenario, if it lasts more than a year then the automotive industry is going to be in deep trouble. All predictably, next to destroy, Iron and Steel and Chemical Industry.

    • I don't believe it! permalink
      January 14, 2023 12:29 am

      As the article mentioned company car drivers get massive tax advantages for driving electric. The numpties are a significantly smaller number.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      January 14, 2023 9:19 am

      If you live in London, have off-road parking and a bit of money, EVs make sense. You get all kinds of tax and charge (congestion, ULEZ) breaks, a nice subsidy to buy it and you can afford a second ICE car for long journeys. EVs are pretty pleasant to drive in town with their high torque and you don’t have to worry about range in a city. The risk is that the tax and charge breaks disappear and second-hand values plummet.

      • Realist permalink
        January 14, 2023 12:29 pm

        What is this obsession with “long journeys”? Given the same actual use, irrespective of the mix of “short” and “long” journeys, refilling with even petrol, let alone diesel which has better mpg, only needs refilling once and it takes ten minutes instead of multiple times to recharge an EV with _each_ of those recharges measured in hours.
        And of course the problem that there are no EVs (not even hybrids) with manual transmission.
        >>second ICE car for long journeys.

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        January 14, 2023 5:27 pm

        An EV takes no time to recharge – if you simply plug it in at night. You don’t even have to go and pay – you get billed by direct debit. But on long journeys you don’t get to do that.

      • Realist permalink
        January 14, 2023 8:05 pm

        So only plug it in at night? It is still not available for actual use with its low range even after a full recharge for several hours.
        What happens if it runs out of charge during the day? Wait until nightfall?
        I refill my diesel at any time of day (maybe next day, but it’s only ten minutes) when it has 200 km left. That is more than the “full” range of several EVs.

        >>An EV takes no time to recharge – if you simply plug it in at night.

  2. David Young permalink
    January 13, 2023 6:33 pm

    “The reason was that BMW had been pre-registering a lot of EVs before the end of the year, in order to meet government targets.

    “He says BMW were under government pressure to do so, though what that pressure is I cannot tell.”

    Harry Metcalfe explains the end-of-year panic in this video on the Tube…

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      January 13, 2023 6:58 pm

      Hi David, whilst I accept Harry Metcalfe’s explanation of the EV registration distortion, I feel the rest of his arguments are complete tosh.

      • David Young permalink
        January 13, 2023 8:57 pm

        I don’t necessarily agree myself, but I think it’s clear that governments and manufacturers are making a right dog’s dinner of the issue.

  3. E J Cook permalink
    January 13, 2023 6:56 pm

    Numpties. There’s one born every 2 minutes.

  4. Curious George permalink
    January 13, 2023 7:02 pm

    No problem at all. Double the subsidy.

    • ThinkingScientist permalink
      January 14, 2023 7:36 am

      Give ’em free to the masses!

      Government’s got that free money tree after all. They used it for years for quantative easing resulting in horrendous inflation.

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        January 14, 2023 9:21 am

        For the direct cost of lockdowns, they could have handed out 10 million for free!

  5. Gamecock permalink
    January 13, 2023 7:05 pm

    ‘Makers of electric cars are slowing down UK production as the vehicles are too
    expensive for many motorists.’

    Low intellect reporter. That is simply not a reason. He’s got to be leaving something out . . . like the real reason.

    ‘In its latest report, the Advanced Propulsion Centre, which provides taxpayer funding to makers of zero-emissions vehicles, said the ‘uncertain economy’ was expected to push drivers towards cheaper car models for a longer period.’

    So, expected sales will decline. There is your reason, then.

    ‘A production slowdown has already begun in the UK’s zero-emission car industry, with BMW announcing in October that it would stop production of the electric Mini at its plant in Oxford in order to ship the operation to China.’

    Dude, make two sentences.

    ‘And Jaguar has yet to provide further details on plans to become fully electric by 2025.’

    Which has FA to do with the first sentence. Where does the Mail get their writers ?!?! This guy is AWFUL!

    • dave permalink
      January 14, 2023 9:09 am

      “Where does the Mail get their writers?!?!”

      “Cut and Paste Uni.”

  6. johnbillscott permalink
    January 13, 2023 8:00 pm

    Exporting emissions’ to China but the politicians will see this a a win win for virtue signaling, despite major job losses which they care sweet Fanny Adams about.

  7. January 13, 2023 9:46 pm

    I’d imagine that a large majority of EV sales are for company car buyers due to BIK tax breaks, making affordability less of an issue due to this hidden subsidy.

  8. Dave Ward permalink
    January 13, 2023 9:48 pm

    As the government are now begging our remaining coal fired power stations to keep open for longer than originally intended, there’s a glimmer of hope they’ll have to row back on the 2030 petrol/diesel sales cut off point…

    • Douglas Dragonfly permalink
      January 13, 2023 10:59 pm

      Hmm. Then again they might not. No one with any sense believes in anthropogenic global warming. The faceless powers that be will see the majority of us on shanks’ pony. That way people are easier to control. Control being one of the major goals in this death dance of our rights to travel about. Unless you have a zillion credits in your electronic wallet perhaps.
      The objective here is climate lockdown.
      And doing it in a way the state can manage.

      • January 14, 2023 6:23 am

        Gorby was right. When do we start lynching politicians?

      • January 16, 2023 10:47 am

        “No one with any sense believes in anthropogenic global warming.” I think you have got to the root of the issue there. Trouble is, they’ve dug themselves into a deep hole, and because they are senseless they won’t stop unless the sensible make them. How? That is the question.

  9. I don't believe it! permalink
    January 14, 2023 12:32 am

    Most of the the sales were company cars because of the massive tax advantages.
    The numpties were significantly smaller number

  10. January 14, 2023 2:56 am

    All these net zero goals ….
    Are we actually in an Era of “Asperations”? That there is actually zero intention of any specific outcome by any specific date? Have we been tricked into reverse strawman arguments?

    Let’s propose it’s true, our wise governors realize nothing they propose or put in the budget is going to happen as they claim when they forecast. We shriek about the impossibility and all our energies are usefully, for them, dissipated into space. The proles have had their excitement, nothing changes … because it was planned that way.

    Aspirational but impossible goals create excitement to vote within the progressive alarmist class and donor group, while allowing the conservative pragmatist class to blow off steam …. but achieve nothing.

    This is not conspiracy tinfoil hat stuff. Actually just smart marketing and manipulation stuff.

  11. Graeme No.3 permalink
    January 14, 2023 8:00 am

    Recently (2 -3 days ago) I heard the TV News claiming that the Tesla was now the best selling vehicle in Australia in 2022. I cannot remember which TV station and ignored the stupidity. (If range anxiety is a problem in the UK what would it be in Australia. View a map of States and note that Victoria is as big as the UK).
    Doing a little on-line searching this evening and decided to see what, if anything, caused that. I stopped when the top 4 cars sold were all diesel powered, including ‘utes’ i.e. farm type vehicles popular in the cities with people who think they may want to move large items – refrigerators, washing machines, furniture like used PM’s etc.
    If one of the Cultist Media (The Guardian, the BBC etc) tries to repreat this you will know it is a complete ‘ute’ load of agricultural manure.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      January 14, 2023 9:15 am

      Australia is the world’s most urban country and hardly anybody drives from city to city. The cities are all rrasonably sized too and peiple tend to have off riad parking so charging is easier. If EVs are successful anywhere it should be there.

    • Realist permalink
      January 14, 2023 12:35 pm

      The range of EVs is a problem in EVERY country. It is shocking that EVs were even put on sale at all until that problem was fixed. But given that EVs predate ICE and also had range problems, it is almost certainly not possible. What person would buy any product (not only cars) that is less practical than what already exists?

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        January 14, 2023 5:33 pm

        If you are given large financial incentives to do so. And if you own two cars and so can match them to requirements. The London congestion charge is £15/day but zero for EVs. So 100 days/year saves you £1,500. And lots of petrol stations in London are converting to entirely EV charging, so its getting harder and harder to refuel.

    • Geoff Birchall permalink
      January 15, 2023 2:38 am

      The Tesla Model 3 outsold the Toyota Camry to become the best selling sedan in Australia with just over 10,000 units sold. However, I think the best selling vehicle was the Toyota Hilux pickup with 64,391 units vs the Ford Ranger eqivalent on 47,479. There were no sedans in the top ten. Electric cars are still irrelevant in Australia.

  12. Phoenix44 permalink
    January 14, 2023 9:12 am

    What the hell is the Advanced Propulsion Centre and why is it handing o er taxpayers cash?

  13. Cheshire Red permalink
    January 14, 2023 10:37 am

    As others have said significant tax and ownership perks have incentivised business owners to go EV but the easy supply of early up-takers will inevitably slow to a trickle. They’re the ‘low hanging fruit’ if you will.

    Converting the masses to EV’s will be another matter altogether.

    The public won’t enjoy business tax incentives (mostly huge BIK savings) and won’t have the money to go EV, so they’ll have no choice but to continue with ICE.

    Private buyers would be mad to go EV with their own money, too (compared with lease contracts which give guaranteed residuals and so protect the ‘buyer’ from the outset.) Residuals are collapsing (see Tesla offering £8,000 off new cars) and huge questions remain over battery life, charging, functionality and so on. That uncertainty impacts future residuals.

    ALL this chaos is due to government imposing premature Net Zero deadlines.

    They can remove these problems by deferring Net Zero motoring changes back to 2050. At a stroke they’d give everyone in the supply and buying chain, (including themselves) time to evolve the new EV market at a manageable pace.

    • T Walker permalink
      January 14, 2023 12:30 pm

      Yes CR, I have wondered for a while how the PCP model would pan out with EVs.

      About 20 years ago Mercedes Benz got themselves into a financial mess when private leasing was in its infancy. They pitched their residuals and monthly payments to attract rapid takeup – but ended up 3 years later with fields full of cars that owed them considerably more than the market value.

      These days predicting an ICE vehicles value after 3 years is a well developed art but since half the value of an EV is in its batteries that judgement must give the car makers sleepless nights. I wouldn’t buy a three year old EV without a really good warranty on the batteries – and surely that will be expensive.

      By 2030 my family will be wondering whether to let Grandad out on the road at all – until then I will drive my frugal Euro6 diesel

      • Mikehig permalink
        January 14, 2023 4:21 pm

        Afaik all of the manufacturers offer at least 8 years or 100,000 mile warranties on their pure EVs.
        Hybrids are a different story: standard 3-years in many cases. Furthermore they use a starter/generator powered by the hybrid battery to start the car so, if that fails, the car is immobilised. A new hybrid battery is very expensive – as the owner of a 5-6 year Merc hybrid found when he was quoted something like £12,000!

      • Jordan permalink
        January 15, 2023 6:06 pm

        @MikeHig
        OK, but new battery performance is not warranted at those 8 years or 100,000 mile milestones. As a non-EV owner, I understand some degraded level of performance is warranted.
        Degradation is a function of use, which means the warranty could tie down how an owner uses the EV. This video has an interesting discussion of some of these points

      • Mikehig permalink
        January 16, 2023 10:02 am

        Jordan; interesting clip. A lot of what he mentioned applies to ICE as well – typical manufacturers’ boilerplate. Any neglect, failure to implement a recall, etc is always a get-out. “Any mods” is a well-known issue: Porsche are notorious for refusing to honour warranties for the most minor modifications – allegedly.
        Over-the-Air updates are coming to ICEs too, I’ve read – along with official trackers.
        The big one is rapid charging. These vehicles keep a log of the charging history which can be interogated to see how the battery has been managed so “excessive” rapid charging could compromise warranty, if there’s a restriction.
        Caveat Emptor, as always.

    • D Hynes permalink
      January 16, 2023 12:31 pm

      There are many powerful ‘players’ who intend to deprive the masses of a reasonable means of transportation, rather than convert them to electric vehicles. As is always the case, this will disproportionately affect the poor. It was particularly telling when our current monarch said, ‘we can no longer afford consumerism’ and that the “age of convenience” was over. I gather that the ‘we’ means ‘you’, as his own lifestyle won’t be impacted by his lofty edicts. He clearly views his ‘subjects’ as polluters and is in favour of authoritarian means to inflict his own personal vision of utopia on UK citizens and the rest of the world.
      Jordan Peterson has been talking to people like Bjorn Lomborg and Dr Richard Lindzen about the science and particularly the politics behind climate catastrophism and net zero agendas.

  14. Ray Sanders permalink
    January 14, 2023 11:46 am

    This is a very informative youtube clip regarding fast charging and just how complex the entire issue is. Hardly any wonder very few people would voluntarily opt for an EV without some form of bribery especially if you do not have off street parking.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_43-CPgqp4g

    • Mikehig permalink
      January 15, 2023 10:36 am

      Ray S; You have often posted knowledgeable comments about the looming problems with local electrical infrastructure. This thread confirms what is coming over the horizon:
      https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&f=247&t=2017268

    • Mikehig permalink
      January 15, 2023 6:33 pm

      Thanks Ray: a good video. He covered most of the basics but missed temperature.
      Depending on the car, charging can be very sensitive to battery temperature. Some brands have the facility to “condition” the battery when getting close to the next charger. If not, this is what to expect:
      e.g. Kona 64kWh – figures below are relative to battery temperatures.
      Over 25°C 75kW
      Below 25°C 56kW
      Below 15°C 42kW
      Below 5°C 21kW
      assuming a low SoC at the start.

      I would also argue that as well as understanding the car’s charging characteristics, the owner needs to be aware of its efficiency. The key metric is how many miles of range can be added in that 10 – 80% charge-up. If the car is “thirsty”, a good charging curve won’t save the owner from needing to stop more often than a more efficient vehicle. This is one of Tesla’s strengths.
      It’s a complete minefield for the unwary.

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        January 15, 2023 7:19 pm

        Thanks for the additional info Mike. My personal view is that whilst some of us may be bothered to consider all these issues, the vast majority (way over 90%) really would not understand nor should they have to. An ICE is a pretty forgiving beast whilst it seems an EV is a very pernickety and impractical form of personal transport for anything other than short trips.

      • Realist permalink
        January 16, 2023 5:50 am

        And of course even multiple “short trips” on the same day would very quickly exceed the range of EVs.
        EVs are basically expensive city runabouts.
        >>impractical form of personal transport for anything other than short trips

  15. Realist permalink
    January 14, 2023 12:21 pm

    Similtaneously LESS practical and more expensive. How did they ever expect people to buy EVs voluntarily? The car makers ought to be listening to what the market actually wants and not what politicians want to impose.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      January 14, 2023 5:35 pm

      The car makers are just trying to survive. Governments have come along and said “you have to stop making your product”. What are they supposed to do, just close themselves down?

      • Realist permalink
        January 14, 2023 8:08 pm

        They will have to close down actually making cars if they don’t provide what the market wants. But there will be a huge market for spare parts for ICE vehicles.
        >>The car makers are just trying to survive. Governments have come along and said “you have to stop making your product”. What are they supposed to do, just close themselves down?

  16. January 14, 2023 1:35 pm

    They may be too expensive to sell but the real reason production is moving overseas is its too expensive to make them where electricity and energy are very expensive. I’ve read that it takes about 42 MJ/Kg to make a car so a Tesla model 3 weighing 1600 Kg would require 67,200 MJ or 18668 KWhrs. If the cost of the cost of electricity in the UK $0.27/KWhr (and it is currently higher), the cost of power alone to make the car in the UK is more than $5,000 or about 10% of the car’s price. If that car is made in Texas, where Tesla has a plant, its $0.09/KWhr so the cost of energy there is ~$1700. If you add in transportation charges of $800, the cost is still half to make cars elsewhere and import them. Green energy only begins to work when the economy is deindustrialized.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      January 14, 2023 5:36 pm

      That’s the irony – it’s too expensive to make Green tech where you use Green tech for stuff.

    • D Hynes permalink
      January 16, 2023 12:40 pm

      So the entire process of transitioning western counties to net zero is based on the utter hypocrisy of outsourcing the production of just about everything to China and India, who are essentially exempt from net zero carbon policies.

  17. Douglas Dragonfly permalink
    January 14, 2023 2:50 pm

    The competition is hotting up all round :-
    Tesla turns up heat on rivals with global price cuts | Reuters
    “Tesla turns up heat on rivals with global price cuts | Reuters” https://www.reuters.com/business/autos-transportation/tesla-cuts-prices-electric-vehicles-us-market-2023-01-13/

  18. January 14, 2023 4:21 pm

    How “green” are EVs? This video from Australia has the answer:

    https://www.bitchute.com/video/IKNmuRvVlMMk/

  19. January 14, 2023 7:47 pm

    Small point. Sourcing their raw materials and refining them takes a lot of hydrocarbons. Creating them also needs a lot….. think of ALL that lovely plastic for one. I have yet to see a credible empirical data based study which sets the case for EV’s impartially because from the little I know, the claims upon which they are being forcibly promoted, collapse at the first sign of any scrutiny.

  20. liardetg permalink
    January 14, 2023 9:43 pm

    Oh I hear there’s a Europe wide plan to electrify thousands upon thousands of diesel driven 12
    Wheel artic lorries because otherwise the Brit EV campaign is pointless.

  21. liardetg permalink
    January 14, 2023 9:43 pm

    Oh I hear there’s a Europe wide plan to electrify thousands upon thousands of diesel driven 12
    Wheel artic lorries because otherwise the Brit EV campaign is pointless.

  22. tomo permalink
    January 15, 2023 8:44 am

    https://futurism.com/startup-releasing-chemicals-dim-sun

    Not a trivial thing … haven’t bothered yet to look who’s funding it – unlikely to be the WI in Tunbridge Wells….

    • Douglas Dragonfly permalink
      January 15, 2023 9:29 am

      Isman and Make Sunsets, if successful, will not only reflect the Sun’s heating rays but also sunlight.
      This will not go down well with those how claim renewable energy is the way to go. Photovoltaics will will be hard hit. As will their game plan for charging electric cars in the new Net Zero future/cult.
      It’s reads like a competition – stuff the science, ‘ I can be a bigger nut job than you !’
      And like electric cars, just because technology can do it doesn’t mean to say it’s a good idea.

  23. liardetg permalink
    January 15, 2023 10:48 pm

    Notice l looking at used Nissan Leafs that one loses about ten grand in 2-3 years and that most mileages are low versus usual ICE. Clearly second cats

  24. Mikehig permalink
    January 16, 2023 3:49 pm

    Anecdotal signs that demand may be slowing and/or production ramping up:
    “Interesting. I popped into our local Cupra dealer, in Edinburgh, on Friday to have a look round the Born in the showroom.
    Got chatting to the sales guy who says they have access to cars for more or less immediate delivery, 60+ available in V1, V2 and V3 spec.
    I was impressed with it too but a nice V2 is going to be about £40k. Struggling to justify it really as there is absolutely nothing wrong with our 2019 Leon but still tempted.
    The Skoda dealer next door, same company, has Enyaqs available in the showroom with small discounts. Nearby VW dealer also has ID4s available. Supply looks to be getting better but still variable.”

  25. BLACK PEARL permalink
    January 16, 2023 6:09 pm

    Watched a US You tube vid a guy had with his ID4
    Got a warning light on one of the elec. motors.
    Dealer told him not to drive as they had to order a new unit.
    Months later still no new part.
    Apparently it had to be custom made for his vehicle in the factory in Germany.
    Imagine owning these 2nd hand ‘Gulp’

  26. Carnot permalink
    January 17, 2023 12:12 pm

    Thanks for this clip. Some very interesting information. But, what a dog’s bollocks the charging infrastructure is. No standards, no ease of payment, and the need for frequent partial charges. I am used to getting in my car driving 200 miles+ when necessary without stopping for fuel or a pee break. Not with an EV. Journeys times will be longer and stops more frequent. At best EV’s look like local runabouts. If you rapid charge you run the risk of shortening the battery life. The residual values of these dream machines is about to be revealed. Who would want to buiy a 3 three year old computer on wheel with a knackered battery. Not me.

    • Realist permalink
      January 17, 2023 1:05 pm

      On the actual infamous “long trips”, I stop every two hours as recommended, but I do NOT have to refill my diesel (or even petrol) on _each_ of those stops (even with a trailer).
      For other use, I don’t have to refill with diesel or even petrol _every_ day. My current diesel (without a trailer) has a range around 1200 km and around 900 with a trailer.

  27. BLACK PEARL permalink
    January 17, 2023 1:11 pm

    Yep
    The value of a used EV will drop lower than “whale poop” (Clint Eastwood expression, cant remember the film, but he didn’t say ‘poop’)
    Of coarse the Govt could offer more tax payers cash to guarantee a minimum trade in value to an owner. Was discussing with an iPace owner and he had it in writing so he said.

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