It’s a challenging time for the UK car market, with the backdrop of coronavirus providing some uncertainty for potential buyers. Yet there is positive news surrounding electric vehicle (EV) registrations.
According to figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)*, more than 108,000 EVs – this includes Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) – have been registered in 2020. This represents nearly 9% of the new car market, compared to just 2.5% during the same period in 2019 and equates to one EV being registered every three minutes. In September alone, we saw registrations of fully electric vehicles almost triple, with 21,903 registrations compared with 7,704 vehicles in 2019. Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) also continue to gain momentum, with registrations increasing by 87% compared to levels recorded last September.
Poppy Welch, Head of Go Ultra Low, said: “With the acceleration in EV uptake continuing, these are positive signs that the combination of Government incentives, the growing range of new models plus the financial and environmental benefits of EV ownership are making an impact.”
Thanks to the continuing advances in new models and battery technology, awareness and interest are starting to grow. Models including the Nissan LEAF, Polestar 2, MINI E, Honda e, Vauxhall Corsa-e, and Hyundai Ioniq represent just a selection of a staggering 35 fully electric vehicles and a further 60 PHEVs now available in UK showrooms. Even the all-new Volkswagen ID.3 has been labelled as important to the company as the original Beetle and Golf. Times are changing.
Of course, the challenge now will be not just to maintain, but build this EV momentum into the rest of the year and in line with the Government’s ambition to reach Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050. Road transport use has now returned to pre-coronavirus levels, so it’s more important than ever that both the public and businesses are made aware of the advantages of driving electric, upgrading existing vehicle fleets while supporting the longer-term plan to reduce carbon emissions across transport.
*For more details on registration data, please visit the SMMT.