Half of car dealers have yet to sell an electric vehicle - report reveals

Auto Trader found people felt unprepared and not strategically ready to meet the surging demand for electric cars

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A new study has found that half of car dealers have yet to sell an electric car, with many feeling unprepared to supply such models to their customers.

As part of Auto Trader’s ongoing "Road to 2030" study, the brand surveyed dealers on their readiness for an electric future.

Out of the 341 firms that responded to the survey, 50.4 percent had never sold an electric car, while 51.6 per cent said they felt "unprepared" and ‘not strategically ready’ to respond to the surging demand for electric cars.

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show that 115,249 electric cars were registered in the UK in the first six months of 2022, accounting for 14.4 per cent of all sales, and representing a sharp 56 per cent increase in registrations over the same period in 2021.

An electric car being charged
An electric car being charged

By 2030, Auto Trader predicts there will be nine million electric cars on the road, which will make up half of all models aged between three and five years old.

Under government proposals, in 2030 all new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans will be banned, though new hybrid vehicles will be able to stay on sale until 2035.

There’s a big disparity between franchised and independent dealers when it comes to EV preparedness, with only 14.3 percent of franchised retailers having not sold an electric car, compared to 59.6 percent of independents.

Of those that have never sold an EV, only 4.7 per cent said they intend to start selling electric cars in the next 12 months, with a staggering 22.5 per cent saying they have no plans to sell EVs at all.

Marc Palmer, brand director at Auto Trader, said: “There’s a massive opportunity here for retailers to start to think about how they will sell EVs and how they will arm themselves with the right information and, crucially, the right training.

“EVs aren’t to be feared, and they certainly shouldn’t be ignored as very soon they will become a meaningful part of a retailer’s forecourt.”