Car sales have fallen for the second consecutive year (2017 – 2018) according to new figures in Mintel’s UK Car Review (Feb 2019).
The new and used car market is going through a difficult period due to weaker consumer confidence surrounding the EU referendum and rising costs. Moreover, the situation is not expected to improve in 2019 with volumes anticipate to drop from 10.1 million in 2018 to 10 million this year. That said the market is expected to rebound with sales of 10.58 million by 2023.
As diesel cars continue to fall out of favour due to environmental reasons, sales of hybrid and electric cars are expected to grow in popularity in the new and used market. From the wider rollout of new models from different manufacturers promising lower emissions or longer times between refuelling, there have been some interesting innovations in the electric and hybrid car market.
During 2018 South Korean companies Hyundai and Kia announced plans for the installation of PV (Photo Voltaic) roof panels on their cars that would permit solar charging. That same year, Audi and Hyundai announced a collaboration on fuel cell technology development.
Similarly, Audi announced that by 2020 it would have introduced 5G-connected cars to the market. This announcement followed a joint venture agreement with Chinese company Huawei.
The Vehicle-to-X (V2X) communication technology offered in Audi vehicles from 2020 says it will offer safer and more efficient driving and is expected to be a precursor of many fully autonomous cars. Included in the tech is communication between street architecture such as road signs and traffic lights as well as help with parking.
In 2018, one of the UK’s smaller energy providers, OVO, launched two new devices to boost its presence in the EV charging market in partnership with car manufacturer Nissan. The first was a V2G charger and the second a smart charger that works with the grid to only charge during off-peak hours.
The V2G charger is bi-directional and can charge at 6kW while its Smart Charger can charge at 7kW. Both are designed to work with the company’s new Home Energy Storage solution, which enables a vehicle’s battery to be charged from either mains electricity, the V2G system or electricity generated by the customer.
As recall experts, we will be keeping a close eye on V2G charger technology coming into the market because we are expecting to see demand increase in line with new car sales in the next 12 months.
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