What will buyers want from used EVs?
Debbie Fox, commercial director, epyx
The used electric vehicle (EV) transition is starting to take measurable effect in fleet remarketing. By the end of July, the number sold year-to-date through 1link Disposal Network had risen by a whopping 728%. It’s important to put this dramatic increase into context – we are talking about hundreds rather than thousands of units – but the figure does show the speed with which the market is gaining momentum.
Further evidence can be seen in new research from Indicata showing that EVs are currently the fastest-selling type of used car in the UK, plus, of course, they are also making their way onto fleets in large numbers and relatively quickly, which means vehicle leasing companies and others will be remarketing them on a major scale.
All of this raises questions about what mainstream dealers and private motorists will want from their EV purchases. Looking at feedback from across the epyx community, we are starting to build a picture of the situation and believe that the key is very much a used vehicle fundamental – people will want reassurance. For most, buying an EV will be a major purchase of a new and largely unknown technology. They will want as much comfort as possible.
In the real world, this will centre around the battery. Anecdotally, there seems to be disinformation in circulation among the public that the huge and expensive batteries found in EVs represent a substantial risk. Of course, the real-world picture is much, much less worrying but it is our belief that battery history, third-party condition checks and warranties are set to become a substantial part of the used EV infrastructure.
Concurrently, there should be a conscious effort from the remarketing sector to promote knowledge about the advantages of EVs. While these vehicles are likely to continue to be more expensive to buy than their petrol and diesel counterparts for the foreseeable future, there is a strong likelihood that they will prove cheaper to run over time, although this picture may ultimately prove a little more complex than first thought.
For us, the success of the used EV market leading up to 2030 will be all about ensuring that demand for these cars and vans meets or exceeds supply – for electrification to work, there needs to be a healthy second and third-owner market. Measures such as these and others will help to ensure that this is the case.