OEM investment in electric vehicles, including extensive retailer training, means franchised retailers are better prepared to capitalise on the EV future than independents. So said Auto Trader Insight Director, Nick King, addressing a group of retailers during a recent NFDA session at the British Motor Show.

Surprisingly, in a survey of 341 retailers, almost 1 in 4 say they plan never to sell EVs.

This growing knowledge gap means it will take independents time to catch up. This will offer franchises a huge opportunity to grow market share as the EV marketplace expands.

Drop in number of used cars

The shortage of used cars, caused by 2 million fewer new cars entering the marketplace, will compound this effect, said Mr King. “There will be a 30% drop in three- to five-year old used cars in 2025. Add in the expected 20% of cars available in 2025 being EVs, and it means those who have not brought into EVs will see the stock mix of cars they can go after is halved.”

He also revealed statistics that showed it took 50 days to turn an EV in May 2021. Today, this has fallen to just 20 days. “Used car buyers are enormously fuel sensitive. When fuel prices go up, we see a huge spike in EV searches.”

Switch to electric case is strong

In a related take on the cost-of-living crisis, electric cars cut running costs by 70%, saving motorists £160 a month, according to data from Volkswagen Financial Services. “The case for making the switch to electric is getting stronger all the time,” said CEO Mike Todd.