A new warranty being introduced this month is set to “play a key role in building consumer confidence” in used electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids, says the RAC Dealer Network.

The product, called EV One, has been designed by Assurant, the RAC’s partner in the aftersales sector, and is being made available to all of the network’s 1,500 dealers.

It can be applied to any used EV or hybrid – both plug-in and conventional models – that is up to eight years old and has no more than 80,000 miles on the clock at the time of purchase. Cover can be for a variety of periods up to 24 months, and claims can be made at the supplying dealer or almost any other, up to a limit of the vehicle purchase price.

Sean Kent, RAC director of sales at Assurant, said: “This is a very timely development with EVs and hybrids - especially plug-ins - starting to appear on the used market in larger numbers and, for the first time really, outside of franchise dealer networks.

“There is massive public interest in these vehicles but used car customers tend to be quite conservative in their buying choices. The new warranty, which provides the most comprehensive level of cover we have yet offered, is designed to deliver the peace of mind needed for drivers to feel comfortable with moving away from pure petrol and diesel power.

“We believe that it could play a key part in building consumer confidence in EVs and hybrids across the market in a general sense, helping to foster their acceptance as a legitimate and attractive choice in the used car sector.

“As demand for EVs and hybrids grows, car buyers are going to expect dealers to provide them as part of their stock mix, and the new warranty provides a cornerstone for new sales propositions for these kinds of vehicles. It is very much a further development in our ongoing philosophy of giving dealers the support that they need by providing them with products that meet changing customer requirements.”

Sean said that the warranty could be offered as standard with used EVs and hybrids, or as an upgrade path for car buyers.

“Given the profile of the likely buyer and the age of the vehicles, we are expecting dealers to typically offer six or 12 months of cover with this warranty and then give the customer the option of an upgrade to the full 24 month maximum.”

The warranty covers all of the key components in the EV drivetrain and charge system with the exception of the batteries, as well as the other components covered by Platinum Plus, currently the highest level of warranty currently offered by the RAC Dealer Network.

Sean explained: “While the battery is clearly an area of concern for car buyers, EV and hybrid manufacturers, almost uniformly, include comprehensive battery warranties, typically eight years and 100,000 miles, so our product is designed around this existing cover.”