Guernsey Press

Local garages reporting a surge in electric car sales

THE electric car market is surging in Guernsey, with the countdown under way to 2030 when European manufacturers will stop selling petrol and diesel vehicles.

Onno Termeulen, head of business at Jacksons, said the electric car market was moving in a very clear direction. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29447607)

At Jacksons, electric car sales now account for 18% of its market, and the numbers are going up every year as consumers switch away from traditionally-powered vehicles.

Head of business at Jacksons Onno Termeulen said the market was moving in a very clear direction.

‘Everyone is more drawn to the electric cars because of the environment, the smoothness, it’s a very smooth driving experience, and there are so many next generation cars coming out, so people are looking at them more and more.

‘Of course you still have the true petrolheads, as they used to be called, where they can’t get their head around full electric, but having said that if you look at the Porsche Taycan, if you drive that as a fully electric it’s as quick as the standard petrol.’

At the end of June there were 1,084 electric and hybrid vehicles registered.

They were then selling at a rate of 13 a month.

In total there were more than 85,000 vehicles and motorcycles registered in Guernsey, meaning that electric and hybrids represented just more than 1% of that overall figure.

But within the last couple of years car salesmen do not need to see official statistics to know that the market is taking off and that what was once a niche product is now becoming mainstream.

The core market is around the smaller electric cars, such as Minis and Smart cars.

Infrastructure is growing, for example Plug-n-go is increasing its numbers of public charging stations, and businesses such as Jerbourg Hotel and the Friquet Garden Centre have installed charging points for customers.

First-generation electric cars had a driving range of about 100 miles, but that has now been upped to more than 200.

Jacksons is hosting open days this weekend to showcase and raise awareness of electric vehicles.

Wandering around the sales floor, the prices were not cheap, but Mr Termeulen was quick to point out that filling up a tank with petrol is a lot more expensive than recharging with electric, and over a year can represent a saving of thousands of pounds.

Despite the growing infrastructure, the main concern for consumers has been getting stranded because of running out of power.

‘The biggest fear that people have is about driving off-island, because has the UK and France got the infrastructure? But there’s growing confidence that there are enough charging units out there.

‘Another key thing for customers has been the range that they can travel at, so on island it’s perfect, there are lots of plugging stations so it gives customers the confidence to be able to charge.’

The writing is on the wall for petrol and diesel cars and the message from local showrooms is that many buyers are keen to make the transformation.