Motor Industry Update 4 February 2021

ESB Energy rapid charger - Zap-Map ESB Energy rapid charger - Photo credit: Zap-Map

Zap-Map signs up ESB Energy to new electric vehicle payment platform

The UK’s leading Electric Vehicle mapping service Zap-Map, has announced that ESB Energy is to join its Zap-Pay service as its latest charge point operator, expanding its network.

Zap-Pay provides electric vehicle owners an easy and simple way to pay for charging their vehicles and thereby avoiding the hassle of having to use multiple apps across different networks. With the addition of their easy-to-use payment service, Zap-Map offers drivers the ability to search, plan and pay all on one app.

Zap-Pay was launched just last year with the aim of signing up all the key networks across the UK and has an unrivalled presence in the electric vehicle market with over 100,000 people using its service every month and around 80% of EV drivers having downloaded the app.

The company operates 20% of all the rapid chargers in London and with this announcement it will accelerate easy, trouble-free electric vehicle charging in the capital. ESB Energy is a key network for Transport for London and the company provides charging services to many London cab drivers. It will also be the second charge point operator to be added to Zap-Pay.

The company operates 1,100 charge points on the island of Ireland and is continuing to increase its presence in the electric vehicle market in the UK with 145 rapid chargers installed in Coventry and London since they entered the market in 2017. Their partnership with Birmingham City Council, where they installed almost 200 chargers, means their network will expand considerably over the next couple of years and is currently the eighth largest rapid charging network in the UK.

Volkswagen ID.3

Volkswagen ID.3 – Photo credit: Volkswagen

Volkswagen ID.3 drove registrations in December as the second top-selling car in Europe

According to data for the 27 European markets, the volume of new cars fell by 3.8% in December 2020 to 1,212,858 units. While it was a smaller decrease than previous months, it did not offset the overall trend as cumulative registrations for the full year totalled 11,941,633 units, representing a decrease of 24%.

Double-digit decreases for SUVs in Italy, France and the UK in December were responsible for the decline despite strong increased sales of pure electric and plug-in hybrid cars.

Demand for petrol and diesel cars, including hybrids and mild-hybrids, fell by 23% which contrasts with a 271% increase in pure electric cars and plug-in hybrids (EVs). These results closed the gap between EVs and diesel cars, with EVs registering a 24.1% market share, compared to the 24.7% share seen for diesel cars. Compare this to December 2019 when EVs made up just 6.3% of total registrations.

This strong demand for EVs resulted in two electric models securing places in the top 3 European best-selling cars. Behind the ever-popular Volkswagen Golf, the Volkswagen ID.3 registered almost 28,000 units and became the second most registered car in Europe in December. The ID.3 was Germany’s third best-selling car, the fourth best-selling in the UK and the second best-seller in Denmark, Norway and Luxembourg. This was followed by the Tesla Model 3.

Other models benefitting from recent EV growth include the Fiat 500, the Peugeot 2008, the Hyundai Kona, the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa and the Renault Zoe. Further down the rankings, other models that performed well include: Seat Leon (+66%), Volvo XC40 (+67%), Skoda Kamiq (+58%), Volkswagen Up (+58%), Kia Niro (+99%), Nissan Juke (+90%), Nissan Leaf (+94%).

Some of the latest launches include the Ford Puma which registered 12,874 units, Volkswagen registered 4,714 units of the ID.4, Mercedes registered 4,013 units of the GLB; Mazda registered 3,327 units of the MX-30, Polestar registered 3,117 units for its model 2; Citroen registered 2,314 units of the C4, Audi registered 1,962 units of the E-Tron Sportback, and Porsche registered 1,912 units of the Taycan.

Auto Trader helps retailers with new digital forecourt experience

Auto Trader Retailer Stores

Auto Trader Retailer Stores – Image credit: Auto Trader

Auto Trader plans to introduce a new digital forecourt experience on its marketplace this month, with the launch of Retailer Stores as part of its commitment to help retailers convert more sales.

The new virtual storefronts are fully customisable and designed to make it easier for businesses to build trust and confidence in their brand, which according to nine out of ten buyers, is important when choosing their next car.

Retailer Stores will enable car retailers to substantially enhance their digital profile by creating their own dedicated brand destination on Auto Trader by prominently displaying specific details about their business, including available stock, reviews, COVID-19 safety features and online retail services, such as click and collect, home delivery and of course plenty of rich imagery and video content.

As well as being highly visible across Auto Trader, Retailer Stores will have strong SEO, meaning that consumers looking for retailers on search engines should see the respective digital forecourts at the top of their search results.

SMMT’s comment on building additional battery production in the UK

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said

“The news that the UK will be home to additional battery production in the North East is hugely positive and an essential step in the transformation of the automotive sector to electric motoring. It is an investment that is a direct consequence of the UK agreeing a deal with the EU and providing a much-needed boost to the sector and region.

“The Road to Zero will require a rapid acceleration in the take up of these new technologies and massive investment in infrastructure and local capability. We have the scale – as a market and as a production location – to warrant the necessary investment but our attractiveness depends on maintaining these advantages and consistently enhancing our competitiveness. We need to build on this announcement and implement a strategy which safeguards automotive manufacturing and delivers a rapid transition to the benefit of all of society.”