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Large discounts for EVs could help accelerate the UK’s transition going all-electric

Incentives of £8,000 for volume-selling electric vehicles (EVs) could be the start of heavy discounts for electric vehicles across the UK.

That’s the view of one automotive industry executive who says that car manufacturers are being put under pressure from the UK Government to try and accelerate the switch to electric vehicles.

Tony Whitehorn led Hyundai in the UK from November 2011 to December 2018 and now works as an automotive consultant.

Speaking at an e-learning webinar organised by The Lead Agency, he explained that massive discounts and plenty of incentives will be offered by carmakers, who are desperate to shift their EV stocks and avoid being fined.

Kia EV6 charging
(Kia)

The Government’s Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Mandate means that manufacturers will receive hefty fines if they do not reach targets for EV sales.

Whitehorn, former UK CEO and president of the South Korean manufacturer Hyundai said: “Car manufacturers are not making as much money out of EVs as they are out of vehicles with internal combustion engines.

“They’ve got to sell a whole load more battery electric vehicles to avoid paying hefty fines.

“Therefore, there are going to be big discounts and a lot of incentives to tempt people to purchase them.

“Already I’m seeing a large number of 0% finance offers, with huge financial deposit allowances – up to £8,000 on one volume-selling vehicle, which surprised me.”

Meanwhile, Alban Treglohan, who runs the VW account for media agency PHD, warned that huge discounts could prove to be a ‘dangerous drug’ for carmakers.

She added: “Last year was a very challenging year for the EV market, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to generate new demand for electric vehicles. Discounting is actually becoming a dangerous drug for car manufacturers.”