Business is booming for the electric market – 2017 was a record year for new car sales, with
approximately 132,000 new electric registrations by December. The success across the market could
be attributed to some of the latest developments in the industry meaning that some of the initial set
backs are becoming less of an issue to drivers – and the news that the government plan to ban the
sales of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040.
As these plans emerge, many automotive manufacturers have now started to plan how they will
survive during the transition to cleaner vehicles. Jaguar and Land Rover are late comers to the
electric vehicle market, only recently introducing their first all-electric vehicle, the Jaguar I-Pace
concept. But that hasn’t stopped them from pulling out all the stops to catch up, by announcing that
they plan to be all electric by 2020 – a big step into the EV industry for new comers. This news
followed Volvo’s pledge to do the same but by 2019. The prestige brand promises that all new
models produced and registered from 2020 will be fully electric or hybrid – and that their customers
will have more choice moving forward.
The plan gets significantly more achievable with indications that JLR are interested in building a UK
based electric car plant – similar to Nissan’s Sunderland factory – to support the production of their
new electric models. Whilst it is not confirmed, the plan is a big step towards the brand committing
to their EV plan.
Other manufacturers are considered to be a step ahead of JLR. Nissan have already sold within the
thousands of electric models. They are the brains behind the second most popular electric model in
retail, and the bestselling all electric model in the UK, the Nissan Leaf – with over 30,500 units sold in
the UK, and over 300,000 units worldwide. And with the launch of its newest model, could the Leaf
take the top spot. The new model has a battery mileage range that is double the range of its
previous models. An issue that was apparent for all manufacturers, not just Nissan.
Engineers at Nissan knew that to make the new model work, something had to be done to improve
its range – and that is exactly what they achieved. The 2011 Nissan Leaf had a range of just 75 miles,
but progress in the industry has since taken huge leaps towards its new 235 mile range – progress
that could be intrinsic to the future success of the model, and for the industry. Additionally, they
also fitted the first one pedal driving system – an optional system that allows you to transform the
accelerator into an e-pedal to function as a start, stop, accelerate and brake pedal.
The transition has already begun. Drivers have realised the harmful effects of their petrol and diesel
automobiles, and the government’s plans are underway. To survive the transition, now is the time to
come up with an electric vehicle plan. For automotive manufacturers, they need to get their head in
the EV game to survive the market.