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EV market shows signs of maturing as second hand sales double


EV second-hand sales have gone up following the decline in new car production

The UK electric vehicle market has shown signs of maturing as the number of second hand sales has doubled over the last year, according to a quarterly report by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) published today.

Despite a combination of Covid-induced supply chain issues – including semiconductor shortages – and the impact of the war in Ukraine on the new car market, the amount of used battery-electric vehicles sold and bought increased 120 per cent to 14,586 in the first three months of 2022. 

Transactions for both plug-in and hybrid cars increased compared with the first quarter of last year, going up 35.3 per and 28.8 per cent respectively. 

“Electric car sales are energising the [used car] market, with zero emission vehicles starting to filter through in larger numbers to consumers looking forward to driving the latest and greenest vehicles,” commented SMMT’s chief executive Mike Hawes. 

“Although there is some way to go before we see the recent growth in new EVs replicated in the used market, a buoyant new car market will be vital to help drive fleet renewal which is essential to the delivery of carbon savings.”

Electric vehicles were one of the main drivers behind the 5.1 per cent increase in the used car market size, as an additional 86,596 second-hand cars were bought and sold, with demand increasing in January and February before slightly declining in March. 

However, electric cars only represent 4 per cent of the total number of vehicles in the second-hand market, whereas petrol and diesel cars maintained the market lead, as the account for 96.2 per cent of the total market. (cut) 

Commenting on the data, KPMG’s UK head of automotive Richard Peberdy said: “The challenge in time will be managing inventory levels as prices begin to correct themselves.  

But for now demand is greater than supply, including for the emerging used battery electric market.”



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