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‘Wrong sort of EV’ harming future fleet RVs

Fleet managers trying to select vehicles that will maximise their resale value are being hampered by a lack of choice in the market, claims FleetCheck.
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21 February 2024

Fleet managers trying to select vehicles that will maximise their resale value are being hampered by a lack of choice in the market, claims FleetCheck.

According to the fleet software provider’s managing director, Peter Golding, fleets need to be able to buy electric vehicles (EVs) now that used car buyers will want in four years’ time. But those looking to acquire everyday family cars today to maximise future residual values (RVs) are faced instead a list of options largely consisting of prestige saloons and SUVs – and this is building up a future issue.

“What we’ve seen is a car market that has electrified from the top down, so if you want to spend £50,000-plus on prestige saloons or SUVs, you’ll get lots of options – this has worked reasonably well so far and those sectors are now essentially electrified,” Golding said.

“However, there are large areas of the market where businesses that want to buy bread-and-butter cars that are electrically powered are left scratching their heads. The biggest is probably lower-powered cars with a reasonable range – if you currently run a lot of small petrol hatchbacks and want to find an EV equivalent from an established manufacturer that covers around 200 miles at less than £30,000, which seems a reasonable ask, options are very limited.”

He added that other areas of the market, such as pick-ups, estate cars or any vehicle priced at around £20,000. also offer very little choice. “The EV market is really quite homogenous in a negative way and this is proving damaging to future residual values.”

Golding believes that one of the key factors behind the dramatic fall in EV RVs that has occurred over recent years was not a rejection from used buyers of EVs per se but simply that there were too many of the ‘wrong’ types of vehicles in circulation.

“If you look at the used market, there is ample evidence of this happening. Demand for many big, prestige electric SUVs is currently saturated, for example. These are just not the kind of vehicles that everyday buyers want – too big, too expensive to buy, and too expensive to run.”

Hew lower-cost choices are beginning to come to the market, particularly from the host of Chinese manufacturers that are coming onto the UK market. “However, life is frustrating for those who want to electrify in the short term or who don’t want to buy from a car maker without a well-established UK presence. What fleets need is to be able to buy the type of vehicles that everyday used buyers are likely to want in four years’ time – in most cases, that is not going to be the types of EVs available today.”

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Andrew Charman

Andrew Charman

Andrew Charman has been a motoring journalist for more than 30 years, writing about vehicles, technology and the industry. He is a Guild of Motoring Writers committee member and has won several awards including for his business coverage.

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