New Incentives For Electric Car Buyers Are Expected In The Budget… But Dealers Are Already Trimming Prices Of The Latest Models By Almost 10%

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Some of Britain’s newest and most desirable electric cars are available at discounts of almost 10 per cent from dealers, according to a new market report.

Models such as MG’s latest ZS EV and Renault’s Zoe are currently being offered with more than 8 per cent knocked off the retail price, data collated by What Car? shows.

Meanwhile, tomorrow’s Budget is expected to introduce further measures and new incentives to boost sales of electric vehicles in Britain. 

EV savings: Despite unprecedented demand and expectation of government incentives to help boost sales, electric cars are already subject to discounts from dealers

New chancellor, Rishi Sunak, is expected to rubber-stamp changes to Benefit in Kind rates for company car drivers which will see fully electric cars registered after 6 April pay 0 per cent car tax, rising to 1 per cent the following year and 2 per cent the year after.

This is expected to create a surge in interest in battery electric cars among businesses (see boxout below), with company car drivers currently facing a 16 per cent BIK rate. 

The chancellor is also likely to provide an update on the future of the Plug in Car Grant, which is due to expire at the end of March.

The grant currently subsidises the cost of a new pure-electric car by £3,500 in an effort to incentivise the purchase of the greenest models on sale. 

The move would support the Government’s recent announcement to bring forward the sales ban of all new petrol, diesel and hybrid models from 2040 to 2035 – which could also result in a hike in fuel duty for the first time in over a decade.

Exclusive research by What Car?’s new car buying platform has found examples were motorists are already pocketing savings on electric cars without the government stepping in. 

Make and ModelOTRTarget Price % saving of OTR Cash Savings Price after What Car? discount?
MG ZS EV 105 kW Excite EV 45kWh 5dr Auto£28,4958.85%£2,500£25,995
Renault Zoe 100KW i GT Line R135 50KWh Rapid Charge 5dr Auto£32,8708.11%£2,609£30,261
Smart Forfour EQ 60kW EQ Prime Exclusive 17kWh 5dr Auto [22kWh]£23,0857.00%£1,591£21,494
Smart Fortwo EQ 60kW EQ Edition Nightsky 2dr Auto 17.6kWh 22kWch £24,9956.75%£1,663£23,332
Nissan Leaf 160kW e+ Tekna 62kWh 5dr Auto£39,3956.55%£2,577£36,818
Hyundai Kona Electric 150kW Premium SE 64kWh 5dr Auto [11kW Charger]£40,9504.29%£1,728£39,222
Audi E-tron 300kW 55 Quattro 95kWh Launch Ed 5dr Auto [C+S]£83,7604.25%£3,529£80,231
Hyundai Ioniq Electric 100kW Premium SE 38kWh 5dr Auto£34,9504.00%£1,372£33,578
Vauxhall Corsa-e 100kW Elite Nav 50kWh 5dr Auto£34,1604.00%£1,336£32,824
Jaguar I-Pace 90kWh EV400 HSE 5dr Auto£74,9953.00%£2,233£72,762
Source: What Car? New Car Deals     
The all-new, third-generation Renault Zoe - capable of covering a claimed 238 miles fully charged - is also already offered with a discount of up to £2609, an 8.11 per cent saving

The all-new, third-generation Renault Zoe – capable of covering a claimed 238 miles fully charged – is also already offered with a discount of up to £2609, an 8.11 per cent saving

Buyers using What Car? can get 6.55% off the price of a new Nissan Leaf 160kW e+ Tekna 62kWh 5dr Auto

Buyers using What Car? can get 6.55% off the price of a new Nissan Leaf 160kW e+ Tekna 62kWh 5dr AutoNew Nissan technology helps you stay in your lane when in trafficProgress: 0%0:00PreviousPlaySkipMuteCurrent Time0:00/Duration Time0:41FullscreenNeed Text

The motoring website says it can guarantee shoppers using its service savings on a raft of new plug-in vehicles, despite an unprecedented levels of demand for these types of car. 

Registrations for battery electric vehicles are up by 218 per cent in 2020 so far.

Some 6,562 BEVs have been registered in the first two months of this year, up from 2,065 in the same period a year ago.  

The biggest proportional discount available through What Car? is almost 9 per cent off the MG ZS EV – an electric family-size SUV with an official range of 163 miles.

The retail price for the 105kW Excite EV 45kWh 5dr Auto is £28,495. However, buyers using What Car?’s service can pocket a saving of 8.85 per cent, cutting the price by £2,500.  

The all-new, third-generation Renault Zoe – capable of covering a claimed 238 miles fully charged – is also already offered with a discount of up to £2609, an 8.11 per cent saving.

The hugely impressive Hyundai Kona Electric (150kW Premium SE 64kWh 5dr Auto [11kW Charger]), with a massive 279-mile range, can be ordered with 4 per cent off the on-the-road price.

And even high-end models that are seeing huge demand are subject to discounts.

Other examples in the list of top 10 discounted electric cars are the Hyundai Kona Electric (left) and Audi E-tronAudi e-tron SUV: Carmaker’s first all-electric production carProgress: 0%0:00PreviousPlaySkipMuteCurrent Time0:00/Duration Time2:18FullscreenNeed Text

The consumer site listed the 10 pure electric models where buyers can secure the biggest savings.

While these all guarantee to knock more than £1,000 off the price of a new car, they are still relatively small discounts relative to some out-of-demand conventional petrol and diesel models. 

Steve Huntingford, editor of What Car?, said: ‘March often sees the highest registration numbers for the year, so it’s apt the Government is likely to use the 2020 Budget to continue to solidify its position in backing electric vehicles through both company car tax and financial incentives. 

‘Our latest, March target price data shows some of the latest and most desirable EVs can be had with nearly 10 per cent savings, making the decision to go electric even more appealing to the hundreds of thousands of new car buyers looking to purchase a vehicle this month.’

As well as incentives to help customers buy new electric cars, the Budget is also expected to help owners charge the vehicles.

That’s because the Treasury is likely to confirm the Department for Transport’s announcement of a £10 million investment towards residential on-street charging points, which could see as many as 3,600 new charging outlets introduced in towns and cities across the UK.

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