Over the past few years the government has tried to encourage the UK public to invest in more eco-friendly vehicles, and have even introduced incentives such as lower car tax payments and exemption from congestion charges. So far the market has not yet responded to eco-friendly or hybrid cars as much as the government had hoped, yet slowly but surely people seem to be coming round.
The fact of the matter is that fuel prices are becoming so high that people are now looking to invest in some sort of hybrid vehicle in order to save money. Add this to the fact that the EU are bringing in more stringent laws concerning vehicle emissions and it is no surprise that manufacturers are starting to create eco-friendly versions of their most popular vehicles.
Even though there is still a long way to go for vehicles to become as eco-friendly as the government would like, motor traders need to be aware that the market is changing and becoming more green. Here, we look at some of the most prominent changes to the market and how motor traders can adapt their businesses accordingly:
As previously mentioned, eco-friendly cars are yet to become a big player in the UK market, with a number of people looking to buy a new vehicle only wanting petrol or diesel powered engines. However, car manufacturers have noticed this trend and have therefore come to some sort of compromise: models with fuel powered engines with eco-friendly technology built in. One example of this sort of technology is stop-start engines, which reduce the amount of fuel used during the driver’s journey and therefore the amount of emissions that enter the atmosphere.
Right now, manufacturers including Ford, Hyundai, Volkswagen and BMW all use stop-start technology in a number of their models, which means if you are a car trader you have a wide range of choice when it comes to stocking your forecourt. These types of vehicles are probably best suited to those who aren’t ready to go hybrid, as even though the technology is beneficial it can be turned off if the driver wishes.
The Toyota Prius is one of the most famous hybrid cars in the world, and was first introduced in Japan back in 1997. Due to the country’s pollution problem, Japanese car manufacturers have often led the way when it comes to eco-friendly vehicles, and the Prius is just one example. After being released worldwide back in 2000, the Prius has gained popularity and sales have been increasing steadily year on year.
Even though the Prius’s success has been slow, the fact that the market is growing has led to other companies starting to create their own hybrid vehicles. This means that in the next few years the market will start to see more hybrid models, and so anyone working in the motor trade will need to ensure that they have a good knowledge of the technology and adapt their motor trade insurance to cover hybrid vehicles.
At the moment, fully electric cars are very rare in the UK, yet there are options available. For example, Nissan has created the LEAF which runs entirely on battery power and as of 2013 has a range of around 200 kilometres (120 miles). Even though this is a substantial distance for any car to be able to drive solely on battery power, many people still feel uncomfortable with the fact that they may not be able to find a charging point before running out of power.
There is also the issue that many people still don’t fully understand the technology behind electric cars, and so they feel that they are not reliable enough or will be difficult to maintain. This means that as a motor trader it is a good idea to start learning about electric car technology so that you can both adapt your business and explain to customers the benefits of electric cars. You could even position yourself as an expert in the electric car market, and once they become even more popular you will be ahead of the game!
Eco-friendly cars are already changing the motor trade market, which means those that work in the sector need to make sure they adapt their businesses sooner rather than later. As we have shown, there is a wide variety of eco-friendly options on the market right now, so you can choose the ones that you feel would be right for your business.