Motor Industry Update 11 February 2021

AX Electric Image courtesy of AX Electric

AX Electric research shows over 55% of drivers thinking about buying an electric car

According to new research commissioned by accident aftercare specialist AX, over 55 per cent of motorists are thinking about buying an electric car.

The study coincides with a new service offering like-for-like replacement vehicles for EV owners following an accident, called AX Electric is launched.

Over 2,200 motorists took part in the research, which revealed that currently only one third of drivers would accept an equivalent petrol or diesel model while their car is being repaired, whereas two thirds would expect to receive the same EV model for the period that their own car is off the road.

AX Electric is the first truly like-for-like replacement vehicle service for EVs and is part of a wider investment in EV infrastructure which will support AX’s rapidly growing fleet of electric vehicles whilst no longer expanding its plug-in hybrid vehicle fleet, as the company focuses and aligns their fleet to support of the huge shift to BEV sales.

This new AX Electric service will be available to drivers through dealers, fleet customers, insurers, AX’s broker partners as well as directly to personal customers.

Director of Sales and Operations for AX, Scott Hamilton-Cooper, said:

“AX Electric marks a new step in our history of accelerating change. We are among the very first accident aftercare specialists to commit to reducing our carbon footprint with a dedicated EV offering. Our customers and partners will benefit from our usual exemplary service levels, while also making sure that their customers receive an electric replacement vehicle.

“As well as the new service and an expanding fleet of EVs vehicles, we are also investing in infrastructure across our various sites, ensuring we have the charge points to ensure our customers’ – and our own – vehicles are fully charged before driving away.”

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Ford and Google partner for connected vehicle experience

A strategic partnership has been announced between Ford and Google in order to speed up Ford’s transformation and reinvent the connected vehicle experience. Ford has also named Google Cloud as its preferred cloud provider to leverage Google’s world-class expertise in data, artificial intelligence and machine learning. Part of this new six-year partnership will see millions of future Ford and Lincoln vehicles across the range powered by Android, with Google apps and services built-in, beginning in 2023.

Volkswagen Group Components commences battery recycling

Volkswagen Group Components has opened the Group’s first plant for recycling electric car batteries in Salzgitter in another committed step towards sustainable end-to-end responsibility for the entire value chain of the electric vehicle battery. The idea is to industrialise recovery of valuable raw materials such as lithium, nickel, manganese and cobalt in a closed loop together with aluminium, copper and plastics, achieving a long term recycling rate of more than 90 per cent.

The plant will only recycle batteries that can no longer be used for any other purposes, for example, whether the battery is still powerful enough to be given a second life in mobile energy storage systems such as the flexible rapid charging station or the mobile charging robot.

The used batteries are to be delivered deep discharged and dismantled so that individual parts can ground into granules in the shredder and then dried. In addition to aluminium, copper and plastics, the process also yields valuable “black powder”, which contains the important raw materials for batteries such as lithium, nickel, manganese and cobalt, as well as graphite.

Head of the Business Unit Technical Development & E- Mobility, Mark Möller, explains:

“As a consequence, essential components of old battery cells can be used to produce new cathode material. From research, we know that recycled battery raw materials are just as efficient as new ones. In future, we intend to support our battery cell production with the material we recover. Given that the demand for batteries and the corresponding raw materials will increase drastically, we can put every gram of recycled material to good use.”

Volvo XC40 Recharge Plug In Hybrid

Volvo XC40 Recharge Plug In Hybrid – Photo credit: Volvo Cars

Volvo Cars’ global sales grew 30.2 per cent in January

Volvo Cars reported their best January in its history last month, as Europe, China and the US all reported increased sales.

The company’s global sales rose by 30.2 per cent to 59,588 cars, boosted by a strong year-on-year performance in China where the company more than recovered losses from earlier Covid-19 shutdowns and demand for Volvo’s SUVs remained strong and represented 71 per cent of overall volumes, while the popularity of its Recharge line-up of chargeable cars continued to grow with the volume of Recharge models more than doubling last month year-on-year, accounting for 23 per cent of all Volvo cars sold globally.

Used price growth remains strong

The latest results from the Auto Trader Retail Price Index, based on daily pricing analysis of circa 900,000 vehicles, showed that the average price of a used car in January was £14,155, a year-on-year and like-for-like increase of 7.4 per cent. This is the ninth consecutive month of price growth and shows an encouraging start to 2021.

This has partly been driven by ongoing supply constraints in the market, as well as the robust levels of consumer demand that remain despite the current lockdown restrictions. Last month, Auto Trader recorded circa 60.1 million cross platform visits to its marketplace, an increase of over 4% on January 2020.