One EV registered in the UK every three minutes in 2020 – with more than 175,000 fully electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles registered in ninth consecutive year of growth
- EV registrations grew by 140%, with more than 175,082 new plug-in cars registered in the UK
- One in 10 cars registered in the UK last year was electric, with one new EV registered every three minutes
- Tesla Model 3 was the UK’s best-selling fully electric model; the BMW 3 Series was the best-selling plug-in hybrid
Friday, 15 January – UK electric car registrations continue to set new records, as figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) place the total number of new, fully electric and plug-in hybrid cars registered last year at 175,082. Despite an overall reduction in new car demand that was largely due to enforced showroom closures, the EV market had its best performing year-to-date, up by 140% compared to 2019.
The figures confirm that, for the first time, one in 10 cars registered in the UK last year were electric, with one EV registered every three minutes. Across 2020, 108,205 fully electric vehicles were registered, up 185% year-on-year. Meanwhile, plug-in hybrid registrations rose by 91%, amassing 66,877 units. This means the total number of electric and plug-in hybrid cars registered in the UK is fast approaching the half-a-million mark (409,330).*
2020 was also the first year a fully electric vehicle, the Tesla Model 3, topped the overall best-sellers list for two months of the year (April and December), while the BMW 3 Series established itself as the most popular plug-in hybrid.**
The ninth year of consecutive growth for the EV market was in part driven by a significant increase in models for consumers and businesses to choose from. This increase in choice has also been accompanied by a number of supportive policy measures, including the extended commitment of the Plug-In Car Grant (PICG) that offers £3000 off a fully electric car costing less than £50,000, plus changes to Benefit-in-Kind taxation, which was reduced to 0% for zero emission vehicles in April last year.
Poppy Welch, Head of Go Ultra Low, said: “The increase in uptake of EVs never ceases to impress me. While there were less than a handful of EVs to choose from in 2011, there are now more than 100 models available and for the first time ever, manufacturers are scheduled to bring more brand-new EVs to market than either petrol or diesel models. 2020 really was just the start of the electric revolution, and we’re looking forward to helping even more consumers and businesses begin their EV journey.”
Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said: “In what has been a difficult year for the wider car market, it’s encouraging to see that EV sales have dramatically increased over the year. This government is going further and faster than ever before to decarbonise transport and this is welcome news as we accelerate towards a cleaner, greener transport future.”
The continued growth of the EV market has also been accompanied by an increasing number of public chargepoint connectors being installed in response to increased demand. The Government recently announced £1.3 billion of additional funding to accelerate the rollout of EV infrastructure in homes, streets and on motorways. There are already more than 36,000 public chargepoint connectors available, and a driver is never more than 25-miles away from a rapid chargepoint anywhere along England’s motorways and major A-roads.
Go Ultra Low is a collaborative campaign and is the first of its kind, bringing together the government, motor industry, and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Find out more about plug-in and hydrogen-powered cars and vans at www.GoUltraLow.com.
* Motorparc data provided by SMMT
** Most popular EVs of 2020:
1. Tesla Model 3
2. BMW 3 Series PHEV
3. Kia Niro (BEV + PHEV)
4. Jaguar i-Pace
5. Nissan LEAF
6. Mercedes A-Class PHEV
7. Renault Zoe
8. Audi E-Tron
9. MG ZS
10. Volkswagen ID.3