EV Index from Sophus3

2020 Q3

The EV Index from Sophus3 provides an objective measure of the readiness of the vehicle market to enable and encourage the mainstream adoption of electric vehicles (EVs).

 

The index is formed from three pillars, each measuring distinct factors that help or hinder electric vehicle acquisition. First of these is the consumer appetite to buy electric, the second is the capability of the automotive companies to supply these cars, and the third is the availability of suitable charging infrastructure.

A score of 100 represents parity in the attractiveness, availability, pricing and usability of an electric car compared with a conventionally fuelled  vehicle.

 

Currently we produce the EV Index for the UK whilst collecting relevant data for the European Big 5 Markets as well as Norway — the ‘best in class’ EV market — to benchmark UK performance

 

A fuller explanation of  the EV Index from Sophus3 can be found here.

 

Overview 2020 Q3

The acceleration in activity around Electric Vehicles, that was evident during the Covid-19 lockdown period within Q2, strengthened further during the most recent quarter. The ‘consumer interest’ pillar, which tracks changes in visitor numbers to EV model pages online as well as fluctuations in consumer search activity related to EVs, recorded a further improvement of over 30% against the previous quarter. This helped push the overall index to a new high of 42 from 36 three months ago.

Our measure of EV affordability and choice did suffer a slight fall from 36 to 34 in Q3. This was due to a distortion created by the volume weighting we assign to EV prices where we effectively factor in the sales performance of each model. During the period under review both Jaguar I-Pace and Audi e-tron won an unusually high share of EV sales – neither of which could be described as ‘budget’ models. However, we expect that in the first half of next year we will see strong movements in a positive direction as a number of recently, or soon to be launched electric models build market share. These include Volkswagen ID.3, siblings Vauxhall Corsa-e and Peugeot e208, as well as the current top-selling Tesla Model 3 which will be adding lower priced variants to its range. Given that Seat and Dacia are both introducing sub-£20k models (the Mii electric and Spring respectively) then affordability and choice should certainly index lower throughout 2021.

 

On the infrastructure side of things, where we measure the extent of the public charging network available to the new generation of EV buyers, there were continuing if undramatic improvements. The data we obtain from a number of sources points to an additional 400 new charging points coming onstream during the third quarter.

 

Whilst all of these advances are positive news for car manufacturers and the many other interests seeking to encourage EV adoption, as ever, we should add a note of caution. Progress may have been surprisingly good during the recent months of turmoil that Covid-19 has wrought, but… The Sophus3 Index is still below the half-way point towards reaching the value of 100 where consumer interest, model availability and price, and access to a dependable refuelling infrastructure show an equivalence whether the buyer chooses an EV or a conventionally fuelled internal combustion powered car. There remains much to do on all three fronts.

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