Following on from my recent post on the elusive profitability of electric cars, the UK car leasing and rental industry has also indicated that it will be extremely reluctant to buy significant numbers of electric vehicles until there is more certainty about future residual values.
The industry is already suffering as a result of falling secondhand car values and is unhappy about the current uncertainty over the future value of such vehicles, especially as the expensive battery technology they use is still evolving.
Highlighting these concerns in an article in Fleet News, BVRLA Director-General John Lewis said “What happens if a new battery technology emerges and makes all previous models of electric car almost worthless overnight?”
The fleet industry’s concerns over battery technology and costs could yet prove to be well justified, too. Battery lifespans and replacement costs are not yet widely understood and battery technologies are still changing and being improved – meaning that today’s electric and hybrid vehicles could look like dinosaurs in just 2-3 year’s time.
Quotes from Fleet News
Note: On the other hand, perhaps concerns over battery life and replacement costs are exaggerated and unnecessary. This article in the New York Times (well over 1 million hybrids cars have been sold in the US) discusses how these same concerns have proved to be groundless in the majority of cases, with battery packs lasting well and benefiting from long warranty periods.