News round-up: green plates, tax boosts and EV value

To say this has been the year of the EV is an understatement. Every month it seems like new stories come along about the growth of the sector. This time around, we find that a lack of awareness around government initiatives is certainly not holding people back in the leasing market, and we also reveal which EV is the slowest to depreciate in value.

Only 1 in 10 aware of green plates and grants

A new study has found that 88% of UK drivers are not aware of the government’s green number plate or plug-in-car grant (PiCG) schemes, both of which were designed to boost awareness and uptake of electric vehicles. A YouGov poll on behalf of The Motor Ombudsman uncovered the startling stat, while a survey by Honest John revealed that 41% of motorists know nothing about the £3,000 PiCG discount for EV drivers. Green number plates are to be introduced to EVs this autumn and are part of a raft of measures aimed at driving up electric ownership, ahead of the government’s plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Leasing of electric vehicles booms following tax changes

While wider awareness of government green initiatives might be lacking, at least one incentive has been a hit with drivers. In April 2020, Westminster removed Benefit In Kind (BIK) taxes from EV leases, meaning those leasing them through work via salary sacrifice do not need to pay anything back to the government. Petrol drivers leasing through work still have to pay a BIK tax for their cars. The change has led to a 91% increase in EV leasing in the six months since its introduction – the number of drivers leasing has almost doubled, basically. Experts say the growth in EV leasing has contributed to an increase in total EV registrations of 157% so far this year, as petrol/diesel car sales slump by an average of 52%.

Which EV retains its value longest?

The first nine months of 2020 have seen more pure electric vehicles sold than in the whole of 2019 and, as the market matures, new and potential owners are looking to traditional metrics as a way of differentiating between the growing number of choices. One of these is depreciation – the amount and rate at which a car loses its value after being bought. A new poll has found that the Tesla Model X is the EV that best retains its value over time – but it still loses a whopping 43% of its ticket value over the course of three years (if that makes you wince, try looking at the stats for petrol and diesel cars…). Second on the list of slowest depreciating electric vehicles is the Model S (loses 45% value in three years), closely followed by the Hyundai Ioniq (48%), while the car that loses the least value in real terms (a shade over £10k dropped) is the Smart EQ ForFour.

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