Electric cars: why they are talked about more than bought. Sales statistics
Cars with an electric motor are becoming more and more popular. Interest in them increased noticeably during the rise in fuel prices, but it was more theoretical than practical: Ukrainians were interested, but did not buy electric cars en masse. Experts from the Institute of Car Market Research analyzed sales statistics, described the dynamics and identified 5 main reasons why Ukrainians still do not get behind the wheel of "electric cars" en masse.
The electric car market is growing, but slowly
In total, from January to June 2022, Ukrainians purchased 8,200 electric cars. This is 29.6% more than in the same period last year.
More than 51% of electric cars (4.3 thousand) were purchased on the domestic market in the first half of the year, another 3.3 thousand ( 39.5% ) were brought used from abroad, and only 754 cars with an electric engine were bought new ( 9, 2% of the total). That is, the absolute majority of electric cars — more than 90% — in Ukraine are bought used.
The electric car market became more active at the beginning of May, when the fuel crisis worsened. It was domestic sales that grew the most: with a high probability, the majority of Ukrainians needed a car "on the fly", thatʼs why they searched among the offers available on the market.
The import of electric cars with mileage also increased slightly in May, but there was no "boom", unlike the import of cars with internal combustion engines. Since the majority of taxes on the import of electric cars from abroad have been absent for 5 years, "zero" customs clearance actually did not affect the dynamics of their import.
"The number of requests for the purchase and delivery of electric cars from abroad has increased somewhat, but not because of "zero" customs clearance, but rather because of the increase in fuel prices ," explains Yuliya Rykovska, director of the WEST AUTO HUB company.
A small increase in sales of new cars with an electric motor in mid-May is the result of higher fuel prices and fuel shortages. After Ukrainians bought up cars available from dealers, the sales peak passed and returned to the usual level.
What prevents mass electric mobilization?
Electric cars accounted for 1.4% of the overall structure of passenger car sales in Ukraine in the first half of 2022. This is slightly more than in the same period last year, when this indicator was fixed at the level of 0.9%.
It is interesting that in neighboring Poland this share is even smaller: according to the Polish Research Institute of the SAMAR car market, the share of passenger cars with an electric engine in the sales structure in the first half of 2022 is 1%. Over the past year, this number has doubled from 0.5%.
But we are not talking about mass sales: after all, "electric cars" are more talked about than bought, the Institute of Car Market Research is sure. Theyidentified the main reasons that prevent Ukrainians from mass switching to electric cars.
In parallel with the increase in fuel prices, the interest of Ukrainians in electric cars grew, they actively searched for them on the Internet, says Ostap Novytskyi, AUTO.RIA analyst.
" However, this interest is more theoretical than practical. People simply lack money ," the expert adds.
So, reason #1: cost. According to statistics, more than 70% of cars bought by Ukrainians cost up to $10,000. At the same time, the absolute majority of electric cars (80%) are more expensive than $10,000. At the same time, 10% of the market are electric cars worth more than $50,000, and the average price of an electric car in the first half of 2022, according to Automoto.ua, was $19,900. Thus, most Ukrainians simply do not have the opportunity to purchase even a used electric car.
Reason number 2: a small number of budget electric cars on the market. The niche is almost completely occupied by Nissan Leaf, less often by Kangoo ZE and Fiat 500e. That is, in the most popular segment of budget cars, there is not enough offer and choice.
Reason No. 3: imperfect technical characteristics of budget electric cars. Such cars require a long charging time and have a limited range — in most cases up to 100 kilometers before the next charge.
Reason No. 4. An exhaustive number of buyers who have their own charging point. Since the majority of Ukrainians charge electric cars at home, they are the ones who buy electric cars in the majority. However, the number of such people is insignificant compared to the total number of motorists, and is quite limited, which also does not contribute to sales.
Reason No. 5. The gradual increase in the price of electric cars. Compared to the beginning of the year, the price has increased for all popular models of electric cars. So, the Nissan Leaf initially cost an average of $10,700, and in June it was already $12,800. The Renault Kangoo ZE rose in price from $7,650 to $9,650, and the Fiat 500 — from $10,500 to $13,700. Tesla cars also became more expensive, as the more affordable Model 3 ($38,900 — $40,000) and Model S ($36,075 — $37,000).
In general, the experts of the Institute of Car Market Research are sure that mass transition to electric cars, and not only in Ukraine, is possible if a whole complex of factors is combined:
- further increase in the price of fuel;
- development of charging station infrastructure;
- lowering the price of electric cars and expanding their range on the market;
- increasing the purchasing power of citizens and the availability of financing programs;
- improving the technical characteristics of battery-powered cars, reducing charging time and increasing battery capacity.
In the meantime, taking into account the realities of the next decade, it is necessary to replenish the Ukrainian car fleet with any cars, because the level of car ownership in our country is currently twice as low as in the EU: we have 250 cars compared to 600+ in Europe.
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