Discounts “starting to appear on EVs”

Discounts are starting to appear on new electric vehicles (EVs) for the first time, delegates at the Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP)’s 2023 Conference were told.

The comments from the AFP conference, held The British Motor Museum, followed other panel discussions which focused on practical advice for fleets facing a range of current issues.

Drive Electric’s CEO Mike Potter said that there weren’t ‘massive discounts’ but ‘the time when all EVs were sold at list price appears to have passed, at least for the time being’ – and the recent price cut by Tesla and the arrival of new manufacturers from China were creating a more competitive environment.

He said: “It’s really a sign that EVs are becoming a normal part of the fleet market as well as the sector seeing a return to something a little closer to traditional market conditions.

“The moves made by Tesla appeared to us to be designed to try to prompt some kind of price realignment in the EV market and, to some extent, that has worked – although it has arguably had negative effects in terms of setting future residual values. Certainly, others have had to look at their own sales to fleets and whether incentives needed to be introduced.

Fleet managers in the audience also said lead times on EVs were ‘starting to fall’ – sometimes ‘substantionally’. But it was reported that this could cause issues.

Peter Milchard, AFP board member, said: “It was interesting during our panel discussion to hear that some fleets, who are sensibly placing EV orders 12-18 months ahead of when they actually need the vehicles based on recent supply experiences, are now seeing some of those orders arriving in 6-9 months.

“On one hand, it’s good news, because it suggests that lead times are returning to sensible levels in some instances but it does mean that their orders are arriving a year earlier than they really need them, which can obviously be an issue in itself.”

Speaking about the event, AFP chair Paul Hollick said: “The ongoing impact of everything from the pandemic to the current economic crisis means fleet managers are facing a multitude of difficult issues for which there are often no easy answers such as rising costs across the board, ongoing supply difficulties, electrification of van operations and the ageing of their existing fleets.

“We wanted delegates to leave with ideas they can put straight into action – and the feedback that we are receiving suggests that the conference very much achieved that aim.”

Image from Shutterstock

Sign up for our essential
newsletter service.

Enter your details here.