In the latest edition of Car Dealer magazine, Simon Henstock, UK network operations director for British Car Auctions, raises the question of how the used car market will react when pre-owned electric cars start to be traded in greater numbers than they are at the moment.
Henstock asks: ‘With several new electric models due to be launched during 2012, and the Plug-in Car Grant now in place, are we on the cusp of a revolution in fuelling our cars?
‘Buying an electric car is now a real option for new car buyers – but how will the used market react to these cars?’
He says that professional buyers have yet to see many examples of electric vehicles, so any reaction is hard to judge at this stage. There is certainly a lot of interest, he acknowledges, but there is an almost total dearth of reliable information about the wholesale value of these vehicles.
Henstock writes: ‘Anecdotally, motorists are said to have concerns over the front-end costs of electric vehicles, which could mean that examples that do reach the used market will have to be competitively valued if they are to be remarketed successfully.
‘There are also questions regularly raised over battery life and range anxiety – research shows that EVs are typically used in multi-vehicle families as a runabout for short journeys, with traditionally-fuelled vehicles being used for longer trips.
‘Does this mean that single-car households are less likely to join the electric vehicle revolution?’
Henstock concludes: ‘With the relative newness of EV technology in mass market terms, it is probably too early to worry about the wider ramifications on the used market.
‘However, it is inevitable that electric vehicles will be start to be traded and part-exchanged over the coming months so it is worth considering what your strategy will be in advance.’