While car sales are still a long way off achieving pre-pandemic levels, the industry can take heart from the fact that in November, sales rose for the first time in four months, representing a rise of 1.7% on November 2020.  

An appetite for electric  

Another interesting statistic from November is that the sale of electric vehicles doubled, with 22,000 electric vehicles being registered last month as opposed to 10,345 being registered in November 2020. Indeed, electric vehicles accounted for 19% of total car sales, with the Tesla Model 3 the third bestselling car overall, showing a consistent demand after topping the bestseller list in September 

This increase in the public’s willingness to make the jump to electric vehicles is great news for the motor industry as well as the environment.  

Will the trend continue?  

As the pandemic and Brexit have recently reminded us, the future is impossible to predict, and curveballs have a habit of coming thick and fast. As everyone in the motor manufacturing industry is all too aware, the biggest Covid-related headache comes in the form of the semiconductor shortage, which Deloitte has predicted to last into 2023, with customers forecast to still be waiting 10-20 weeks for computer chips this time next year.  

Given that early in the pandemic, carmakers worried that demand would hit an all-time low and take a long time to recover, this is a frustrating prediction, given that they are currently unable to meet the pent-up demand in the market. However, the fact that the demand exists can only be seen as a positive.  

The move to electric vehicles adds an extra layer of positivity as this change in public attitude will result in more people making the switch to EVs, particularly in the aftermath of the COP26 summit, which brought the need to make changes to a greener lifestyle into sharp focus.  

Improving infrastructure  

While many people would like to make the move to an electric vehicle, doing so is a significant commitment and there is still concern about the provision of fast, reliable charging. The good news is that last month the competition watchdog ruled that the charge-point provider Electric Highway’s arrangement to provide an exclusive service to service station companies Moto, Roadchef and Extra must end in 2026. Admittedly, this change is still some way off, but it’s a step in the right direction towards providing the reliable and accessible charging network that is so badly needed across the UK.  

Financial incentives  

A commitment to a greener way of driving is all well and good, but a wallet-friendly government policy will always help people make the leap. Unfortunately, the government has just announced the second cut of the year for the plug-in car grant, with the maximum cost of eligible cars also being reduced. The grant has now been reduced from £2,500 to £1,500. The reason the Department of Transport gave for the cut was the need to help taxpayers’ money go further. However, if it wants to meet its net zero targets and successfully phase out internal combustion engine vehicles, the government will need to get the balance right and continue to incentivise the move to green driving.  

Innovating for the future  

Here at Interflex, the NVH solutions we provide for the motor industry are evolving with the ever changing needs of drivers. To find out more, please email sales@interflex2000.com or call 01949 861494.