By Tony Willard
Alphera Financial Services has launched a loans package for new and used EVs and hybrids following a 534.4% year-on-year increase in UK registrations of pure electric cars in January and February.
The hybrid/EV parc is small – more than 7,500 – but growing, says Alphera, BMW Group’s finance division for all makes except BMW. Its ‘power of electric’ offer is available to dealers and brokers, but not direct to buyers.
Samantha Cripps, head of sales development at Alphera Financial Services UK, said: “Government subsidies and manufacturer offers make new models attractive. The used EV market is starting to grow and it is important to offer flexible finance for all customers.”
Cripps said hybrid residual values were stronger than petrol models of an equivalent brand and cost base, but those of pure EVs were lower.
“This might change over time as battery life and range anxiety are proven to be incidental to EVs’ benefits,” she said. “If demand rises, values are likely to go up.”
Andy Gruber, Alphera UK director, said EVs would play a very significant role in future travel, with the government predicting ultra-low emissions for all UK vehicles by 2050.
“There is a need to challenge how people view ownership and usage,” he said. “Electric vehicles will not be right for every driver, but can provide an innovative and relevant option for an increasingly large number of circumstances.”
Now that even high-end manufacturers such as Porsche and McLaren have hybrid models in their ranges, one broker expects increased demand for electric and hybrid cars.
David Quate, managing director of DSG FS Scotland, said: “The technology and production cost of these vehicles is still high, so one way a manufacturer can make them seem affordable is through a strong PCP or HP agreement.”
He said a number of lenders had strong PCP offers on most electric/hybrid vehicles to rival Alphera’s new package.
John Hughes, Mann Island Finance director, believes Alphera’s new package is part of a trend towards more niche finance offers.
“Showroom finance is dominated by PCP and HP products, but there is a wealth of other products dealers should be aware of to help close sales. Dealers should consider negative equity loans, a personal option that can support customers who risk being caught in a negative equity trap.”
Karl Werner, head of sales and marketing at MotoNovo Finance, said one of its new products enables dealers to offer up to 150% of Glass’s Guide. This helped customers trapped in negative equity or to enable them to purchase other additional services such as a warranties, service plans or accessories.