PHEV availability ‘destroyed’ by WLTP, say leasing companies

Plug-in and hybrid electric vehicles (EVs) accounted for one in 20 cars sold in 2018, with plug-in hybrids increasing by almost 25% year-on-year.

However, problems getting models through the new emissions-testing regime and global demand outstripping supply, suggest that figure could have been higher still. In fact, the pace of growth of plug-in cars in the UK (21.8%) has now fallen significantly behind the EU average of 40%.

UK fleets have faced long factory lead times for some models, with the Hyundai Kona Electric, for example, taking up to 10 months.

Registration figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) also highlight the impact of a reduction in Government incentives.

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) registrations were up almost 30% in the first 10 months, but year-on-year increases fell to 3.1% and 8.7% in November and December, respectively, after the plug-in car grant was cut.

While changes to the grant will have played their part in the rate of registrations, leasing companies say long factory lead times have also hampered uptake.

In a survey of dealers serving the top 11 plug-in manufacturers con-ducted by the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), availability of product recorded the lowest average satisfaction score. Toyota retailers had the highest rating, just above Mitsubishi, while Peugeot dealers were ranked lowest, followed by Renault.

The UK’s best-selling electric car, the Nissan Leaf, saw monthly leasing values fall by 6.6% between January and November 2018. Monthly prices for the Renault Zoe fell by 16% between June and November.

In the 12 months up to November 2018, the BMW i3 saw leasing prices drop 9.2%, and the Volkswagen e-Golf 14%. Jaguar’s I-Pace saw the smallest price drop, with a fall of only 1.7% since April 2018.

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