Waiting times for new electric vehicles are set to be the same as for petrol and diesel models as the new car market recovers from the coronavirus crisis, according to exclusive research by Britain’s leading new car buying platform and co, What Car?.
The findings come after the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealed new car registrations fell by 44.4% in March due to the effects of the coronavirus shutdown. Despite this, electric vehicle registrations rose 197.4% year-on-year in March, reflecting booming interest.
The average waiting time on a new electric car has significantly dropped in the past 12 months, with the majority of new electric vehicles now available within 12 weeks, according to What Car?’s analysis of all 26 electric models currently on sale. Last year, lead times for some electric cars exceeded more than 12 months, making it nigh-on impossible for buyers to commit to purchasing one.
What Car?’s research has also revealed that eight manufacturers have stock of their electric cars in the UK now, meaning buyers will be able to place an order and have their vehicle delivered within two weeks.
This includes the Tesla Model 3, the winner of the Large Electric Car category at the What Car? Awards, as well as the all-new third-generation Renault Zoe and the all-new Peugeot e-208. However, both the Renault and Peugeot can take up to 12 or 16 weeks to arrive depending on the exact specification chosen.
Waiting times for the most in-demand electric cars have also fallen. Last year’s overall What Car? Car of the Year, the Kia e-Niro, had a waiting list that extended to more than a year 12 months ago. As a result of increased supply, its lead time has been halved to 26 weeks. The longest wait is on Porsche’s first electric car, the Taycan (36 weeks), followed by the Seat Mii Electric and Skoda Citigo e IV (26 weeks), although the Skoda is currently on hold for orders.
The increased competition for sales between car makers has also led to significant discounts on electric cars being available. The average discount on a new fully electric vehicle is 3.92% or £1455.
Even cars with the shortest lead times, including the all-new Peugeot e-208 and new Renault Zoe, are available with discounts, with the new Zoe reduced by up to £2609 according to exclusive What Car? data. Some of the biggest discounts can be had on premium electric vehicles, with the Audi E-tron available with a saving of up to £3855, while the Jaguar I-Pace is discounted by up to £2233.
Steve Huntingford, editor of What Car?, said: “Waiting times on a new electric car used to extend as far as 12 months, but with more models entering the market we’re finally starting to see those times fall to match those of petrol and diesel variants.
“As the new car market recovers from the coronavirus crisis, many of the most popular electric vehicles can be delivered as quickly as a petrol or diesel vehicle, which is a real boost for prospective buyers keen to get on with electric motoring. What’s also encouraging is that some of the newest and most popular EVs can be had with a healthy discount, according to our Target Price research.”
Waiting times for new electric vehicles
Make and model
|Minimum waiting time (weeks)||Maximum waiting time (weeks)|
|DS 3 Crossback E-tense||1||8|
|MG ZS EV||1|
|Smart Fortwo EQ||1|
|Smart Forfour EQ||1|
|Tesla Model 3||1||15|
|Tesla Model S||1||15|
|Tesla Model X||1||15|
|Kia Soul EV||8|
|Hyundai Ioniq Electric||18|
|Hyundai Kona Electric||18|
|Seat Mii electric||26|
|Skoda Citigoe IV||26|