The Future Is Electric

On British roads, the roar of diesel-powered engines is slowly being replaced with the quiet hum of battery power instead. Sales of Tesla vehicles have soared to an all-time high with the iconically electrified marque noting global sales of over 800,000 in 2021. An increased awareness of the impact that transport-related emissions has driven a change in consumer expectations. Instead of simply seeking out the fastest models on the market and those bringing the newest technology, many car owners are showing an increased interest in the fuel that powers these impressive vehicles. Branches off from the automobile industry, including the luxury car hire market, have also jumped on this growing trend. And, as more and more manufacturers design their own batteries, adjust vehicle chassis to accommodate electric power and find ways to release hybrid models into their normal range, it seems that the entire industry is gearing itself more towards this focus.

What is driving the move to electric?

Electric-powered vehicles are hardly a new phenomenon. The first recorded vehicle power in crude electric was noted back in 1932 while the first production vehicle emerged in London in 1884. While the technology existed alongside the passion to turn this idea into a reality, we were largely ill-prepared at this time. A lack of appropriate technology, charging points or the ability to configure batteries to our ever-growing demands have meant that accessible electric cars are only just stepping into the market. Today and into 2022, the expectation is that the majority of vehicles on our roads will be run by electricity within the next 30 years. While Tesla leads the field at the moment, other names in the luxury car market are also making their mark. 


This all comes in response to several factors. Perhaps none is so poignant as the recent emissions regulations. In Europe, the new CO2 emissions performance standards for cars and vehicles require complete compliance by the end of 2021. This has forced many manufacturers – namely those based in Germany who are celebrated for their luxurious vehicle creation – to re-define their strategies and seek alternative fuel sources for new models. In line with this, support from the UK Government in the form of the Automated and Electric Vehicle Act 2018 was set in place to support the deployment of a world-class EV charging infrastructure across the country. The goal is to ensure that electric-powered vehicles can integrate themselves into our everyday lives, taking away the risk of running out of power mid-journey. 


Despite the pandemic, sales of electric vehicles rose globally by 43% while the rest of the industry slumped. An evolution in technology has allowed drivers to embrace less noise, less pollution, better acceleration and cheaper running costs. At the date of this article, the increase in oil prices has driven up petrol prices, with the average price per litre being £1.40. Research shows that this is 29p more a litre than this time last year and it would cost the average family £15 more to fill up their tank. Electric vehicles eliminate this dependency on external price fluctuations, instead of providing an independent source of power for vehicles and their owners. 


How are luxury car marques responding?

It seems that many of the most iconic names within the luxury car market are taking in this change in consumer habits and directing their focus to meet a new need. The Volkswagen Group, who own Porsche, Bugatti and Lamborghini, have announced that they will be investing €30 billion into their development of electric and hybrid models. Among their goals is to offer an alternative fuelled model for every single one currently in their lineup. They also aim to release 70 new electric models into the industry by 2028 and drive marketing efforts to see 40% of their customers shopping electric through them. 


In September 2021, Jaguar Land Rover partnered with COP26 and announced their new fleet of electrified vehicles to all attending. As part of their new global strategy, the manufacturer will be working towards zero tailpipe emissions by 2036 and net-zero carbon emissions across the board by 2039. Their new fifth-generation full-size Range Rover will be released into the market in spring 2022 with the option of both mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains at launch – blurring the line between luxury, off-road travel and environmentally-friendly design. 


Mercedes-Benz has also announced its goals to move its entire product portfolio to electric vehicles by 2020. A £34bn investment will see them operating 8 gigafactories to produce their own tailored batteries. Their future EV offering splits into 3 different architectures with solutions for medium-to-large passenger cars, electric vans and light commercial vehicles. The Mercedes EQC is just one of their entries into this market with 0-100 km/h timings of just 5.1 seconds and a range capacity of between 429,0-454,0 km⁶. Charging to full capacity in just 40 minutes, it banishes delays to ancient history and instead provides a luxurious driving experience for every passenger. 

What does this mean for luxury car hire?

Prestigious car hire affords drivers the opportunity to step behind some of the most well-anticipated and exquisite vehicles entering the market. There was a time where this relied heavily on the inclusion of V8 and V12 engines, filling our ears with their distinctive rumble. Electric vehicles are sure to change this landscape. Instead of striving towards the deepest sounds, consumers are expected to find themselves drawn towards the newest technology. Luxury car hire will make this more accessible, giving more people the chance to experience electrified power at its finest. 


Starr Luxury Cars proudly offer the widest selection of luxury hire cars here in the UK. From the Mercedes EQC and Jaguar I-Pace to the Porsche Taycan and the Audi E-Tron, our electric range of prestigious cars for hire continues to grow. With new launches being announced every day and an increasing number of signature marques taking significant steps into electrified road travel, we expect to see this continue to grow and enquiries for such vehicles moving up our list of focuses. Our current electric luxury cars for hire can be seen on our website. If you are interested in hiring one or would like to speak to one of us to understand how our tailored packages may suit your needs, get in contact with our expert team here today.