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Getting a new car is becoming an increasingly complex task.

In the past, you went to a local dealership, took a test drive, part-exchanged your old motor, and collected a new one. However, with EVs often requiring home chargers, manufacturers abandoning traditional dealership models, and more consumers looking to buy cars online, the market is changing.

Zoom EV, meanwhile, is offering companies and drivers a way to navigate the shifting landscape. Auto Futures spoke to CEO Greg Fairbotham to learn more.

Can you explain what Zoom EV offers to individuals and businesses?

Greg Photo
Zoom EV CEO Greg Fairbotham

Zoom EV offers an EV Driver Benefits Bundle that provides discounts and benefits across the key services customers need to run EVs and save money. We offer this on an individual basis and as part of employee car schemes. We offer EV leasing to private individuals and businesses and finally, we have our electric vehicle sharing/ rental platform which enables customers to join our community and use electric vehicles when they need to.

Why is Zoom EV active in so many different areas of the market?

Customers required these solutions, so we wanted to offer a comprehensive range of services that effectively help customers go electric, help them navigate the transition with a friendly helping hand and offer them a different mobility solution to simply owning an EV. If you’re working from home, for example, it’s probably preferable and more cost-effective to use a car when you need one.

What area of the market do you think is set to grow the quickest and see the most innovation?

EVs have grown rapidly in the past 3 years, but new models of mobility are also growing significantly. This is being driven by changing consumer behaviours, so I think we’ll see growth across all areas, but EV is growing the fastest, here and now.

Do you think UK consumers are ready for EV sharing or will it require a broader change of mindset about how we use cars?

I think it’s important to clarify what ‘sharing’ is. Sharing means using a car that isn’t yours on a flexible basis when you need one (not you have to share a car with someone else!).

The transition for customers being ready to use a car when they need one is underway, but it will take time.

A big factor in the transition is that the cost of having a car is fairly significant and, for the vast proportion of the time, the car isn’t being used and depreciating significantly (not in the current market but generally).

What’s more, many people are now based at home even more of the time, so if you’ve two cars sat there costing you a lot of money is that a good use of your financial resource? No.

If you can use a vehicle when you need one from an auto-dealer that has vehicles available or from someone local to you, it means you’ve got a lot less outlay and the business or individual who is sharing or renting their car is reimbursed for you using it. Mindsets are changing and we’re becoming used to having greater flexibility, but it won’t be an overnight transition.

What are the biggest barriers standing in the way of widespread EV adoption in the UK? Availability of cars currently and some misconceptions on whether an EV will work.

Currently, the market is very buoyant, meaning used car prices are high and new car prices are increasing due to component price inflation. Outside of this, though, some people are still unsure whether having an EV will work for them. A portion of these people have greater considerations, such as not having access to off-street parking, which is still a valid concern, despite more charging solutions, including on-street charging, coming to market.

One of the things we work very hard on at Zoom EV with our partners’ customers including Direct Line Group, Jardine Motors Group, and Hendy Group, is on building good EV knowledge and education to help customers understand the demands of these vehicles and getting them to understand that, in a lot of cases having an EV will work for them and this needs to continue to happen.

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