In another sign of growing EV sales (and falling ICE ones) around the world, the recently released UK car sales figures for July showed the ongoing fall in sale of petrol and diesel cars, and an increase only in full battery and hybrid cars.
Another interesting sign of the changing EV market (and the maturing of the full battery electric segment) is that BEV (battery electric vehicle) sales appear to now be cannibalising PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) sales, according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
This has been seen earlier in EV sales figures from California, where EVs have reached close to 10% of all new car sales, but it appears the trend is now spreading around the world.
It seems, then, that BEVs are now meeting people’s range expectations and the ‘stepping stone’ of the PHEV is being abandoned in favour of the full BEV.
Fuller UK car sales figures are below, but the highlights are:
- 4.1% reduction in monthly sales for July compared to July 2018
- Lowest UK July figure since 2012
- BEV registrations up 158%
- HEV registrations up 34%
- PHEV registrations down 49.6%
- Diesel vehicle registrations down 22%
An interesting set of comments about the figures were made by Mike Hawes, the Chief Executive of SMMT. I have put in bold some of his comments that I suggest should be taken note of by our Australian governments.
“Despite yet another month of decline in the [UK] new car market, it’s encouraging to see substantial growth in zero emission vehicles. Thanks to manufacturers’ investment in these new technologies over many years, these cars are coming to market in greater numbers than ever before.
If the UK is to meet its environmental ambitions, however, government must create the right conditions to drive uptake, including long-term incentives and investment in infrastructure.
The fastest way to address air quality concerns is through fleet renewal so buyers need to be given the confidence to invest in the new, cleaner vehicles that best suit their driving needs, regardless of how they are powered.”
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that UK reduction in monthly sales for July compared to July 2018 was 1%, not 4.1%.
Bryce Gaton is an expert on electric vehicles and contributor for The Driven and Renew Economy. He has been working in the EV sector since 2008 and is currently working as EV electrical safety trainer/supervisor for the University of Melbourne. He also provides support for the EV Transition to business, government and the public through his EV Transition consultancy EVchoice.