Fiat 500e price slashed by £3k as brand calls for more EV incentives
Fiat UK announces £3,000 EV price cut amid falling demand, and calls for taxpayer-funded electric car incentives
The Italian brand owned by the Stellantis group is spinning its big price cut as ‘the Fiat E-Grant’, and has written an open letter to the UK government calling for the return of state incentives to encourage wider take-up of EVs. The £3,000 reduction on offer from Fiat is double the £1,500 electric car grant offered by the government until June last year.
Auto Express reported recently on a downturn in EV sales, with Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) data showing that growth in the sector is slowing. Classified ad site Autotrader has also released data suggesting that the number of enquiries to dealers about new EVs has fallen a staggering 65 per cent year-on-year. It reckons only 9 per cent of enquiries now relate to EVs, compared to 27 per cent in the same period last year.
As well as the high cost of EVs relative to traditional alternatives, the cost of living crisis and fears about a lack of sufficient charging infrastructure are all factors the industry believes are deterring buyers from choosing electric. The lack of buyer enthusiasm is leading to concern in the industry that EV supply may begin to exceed demand as manufacturers are forced to switch to EV production to meet government targets.
Damien Dally Fiat UK told the BBC’s Today programme: “The message is pretty simple. 85 per cent of people are not buying electric vehicles today, and while we’ve not seen it in registrations yet, we’ve looked at the data and we know in six months demand is going to start to wane.
“What we’re saying is people need reasons to buy EVs and we’re encouraging the government to act. It doesn’t have to be the grant, but there need to be tax breaks, subsidies or similar incentives because it [EV demand] is really, really dropping off significantly.
“People need a reason to buy, otherwise I think they’ll just walk into another petrol or diesel car.”
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