Used Electric Cars Could See Demand For EV Chargers Soar

Electric vehicles (EV) have only been around for the last few years, which means most people who bought one had to buy them new. However, as these car owners are updating their motors for newer models, more motorists are able to get their hands on second hand EVs. 

As the used EV market finally takes off, this could have a big impact on demand for public electric chargers. 

Thibaud Simphal, global head of sustainability for Uber, told the BBC: “From next year onwards, there will be very significant volumes [of used EVs], and we can expect prices to go down significantly.”

Many buyers might be tempted to buy an EV for the first time, as the prices could be comparable and competitive with traditional petrol and diesel cars. 

Indeed, the cost of buying an EV is the main reason why more people have not swapped for a greener car yet.

While the government now provides a grant for some types of low-emission vehicles to encourage mass adoption, the eligibility criteria is quite restrictive. For instance, the grant is only applicable when buying wheelchair accessible cars, motorcycles, mopeds, small and large vans, small and large trucks, and taxis. 

Therefore, having a growing second hand market of EVs could do wonders for the sector, enabling more people to get their hands on an environmentally friendly car. 

At the same time, recent data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealed sales of EVs have reached record levels, despite their steep price tag. Last year, battery electric car sales shot up by 90.9 per cent, with 118,973 car owners purchasing one. 

Sales of hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid electric cars also grew over the year, rising by 40 per cent and 25.1 per cent respectively. 

Although petrol and diesel vehicles remain the most popular fuel types, the representation of electrified vehicles in the market grew from four per cent in 2022 to 5.6 per cent in 2023. 

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes predicts this trend will continue in the future, particularly if the public are encouraged to swap their petrol or diesel cars for electric ones. 

“The upcoming Budget is a prime opportunity for government to do just that – halving VAT on new EVs, while making public charging as easy and affordable as plugging in at home, would ensure a faster and fairer transition for all, giving the UK a green economic boost,” he stated. 

Another hurdle for motorists is the lack of EV charging points available, meaning they have to fully charge their car before heading out on long journeys in case they run out of battery.

According to Zapmap, which tracks EV charging statistics, there were 55,301 EV charging points across the UK by the end of January 2024. While this is a 46 per cent rise since January 2023, it only accounts for around 13 per cent of all the electrified cars in the UK. 

Therefore, demand for electricians who have completed electric vehicle charging courses is still incredibly high, and this is only likely to increase as people get their hands on more affordable second hand EVs.