Electric car prices to fall in UK as Chinese competitors move in

Electric cars are set to become cheaper than ever in the UK in 2024, a recent analysis indicates.

Online vehicle marketplace Auto Trader predicts that a fierce electric car price war is set to unfold this year, making cars cheaper and transforming the sector.

The driving force behind the impending price war is the entrance of Chinese electric car manufacturers into the UK market.

The report from Auto Trader foresees Chinese electric cars will capture a sixth of the UK’s new electric car sales by 2030.

Brands like BYD and GWM are gearing up to capture a significant chunk of the British electric vehicle scene, leveraging their success in the vast Chinese market.

But UK companies will be under pressure to compete for their market share with the new zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) mandate starting this month.

The rise of China in electric cars will only add to that pricing pressure as they have the firepower to grab UK market share

Ian Plummer, commercial director at Auto Trader

It new law mandates that at least 22 per cent of new cars sold by each manufacturer in the UK must be zero-emission in 2024, which means electric vehicles. This percentage will steadily increase each year, reaching 100 per cent by 2035.

Manufacturers failing to comply with these regulations will face financial penalties - £15,000 per polluting vehicle sold above the limits.

Even though prime minister Rishi Sunak delayed the ban on sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK from 2030 to 2035, the ZEV mandate sets the stage for a shift towards electric vehicles.

Meanwhile, the entry of Chinese manufacturers into the UK market adds another layer of competition, compelling established brands to reassess their pricing strategies.

“The rise of China in electric cars will only add to that pricing pressure as they have the firepower to grab UK market share,” says Ian Plummer, commercial director at Auto Trader.

Chinese companies are already offering attractive prices to consumers, with the UK coming up as a new lucrative business location for them.

Auto Trader said the BYD Dolphin is on sale in the UK with a starting price of £25,000 compared with £13,000 in China, while the GWM ORA 03 is on sale for £31,000 in the UK but just £12,000 in China.

“Drivers considering taking the first step on their electrified driving journey have never been in a better position to benefit from falling electric vehicle prices than in 2024,” Mr Plummer said.