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Are electric cars going out of date quicker than ICE cars?

Updated: May 10

On Instagram, there’s an account called ‘car industry analysis’. It specialises in presenting the data from the car market. One of these interesting pieces of data, was the sales for the top 100 electric cars in the UK. It also shows the percentage increase or decrease from the sales figures from the previous year. The thing that stood out for me though, is that all the electric cars that were 3 years or older, were experiencing quite steep declines in sales, and it’s not like this is something experienced by all cars. The F10 generation of the BMW 5 series was in production from 2010 to 2017 and below are its sales figures...


2010 182,137

2011 194,037

2012 206,465

2013 221,459

2014 228,521

2015 237,141

2016 246,144

2017 250,230


As you can see, there has been a consistent sales rise even when the car is 6 years old, and this is no different for a less expensive car such as the Skoda Fabia.

Cars such as the Nissan Leaf (launched in 2017), Jaguar iPace(launched in 2018) and even Tesla Model 3 (launched in 2017) saw drops in sales by 18% and 35%. Meanwhile, the Tesla Model Y saw a 424% increase, the Cupra Born a 850% increase and Kia EV6, a 262% increase. All these cars have been recently released.


An explanation that I believe is the primary reason for this, is that battery tech is improving rapidly. One of the leading battery manufacturers is CATL, who supplies batteries to brands such as Tesla, Ford and BMW. On their website, it states lost of great facts such as their fast charging technology, allowing their batteries to charge to 80% in 5 minutes. ‘Advanced 811 nickel-rich chemistry material’, also allows CATL to put in claims of 1000km ranges. However, it means that even 4 year old electric cars don’t have the range to match cars from 2023. A Nissan Leaf has a range of 239 miles but the Cupra Born (available since 2022) has a far superior range of 343 miles, plus much better charging speeds.

Another point, is that the average electric car costs £50,000 in the UK. If you’re spending that much on a car, you’d mostlikely want it is your only car or 2nd car. This means a longer range is a very high priority on electric cars, and as I’ve already explained, older cars don’t stack up. The cost-of-living crisis has also affected the sales drastically on less expensive, older electric cars, namely the Renault Zoe.‘’ says this is a sign that ‘Renault needs to strengthen its EV lineup’.Cars such as the Mercedes EQC (launched in 2019) are less affected, with an increase in sales of 8%. Nothing to shout about, when everyone is supposedly moving electric, but nevertheless a sales increase.


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