Registrations of full battery electric vehicles have jumped again in the UK to take a 16.9 per cent share of the new car market in May, according to new data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The data shows the overall car market growing 16.7 per cent to 24,513 in the month, its 10th consecutive month of growth although registrations are still 21% below pre-pandemic 2019 levels.
But the biggest growth is in EVs, which grew 58.7 per cent from a year earlier to total 24,513 registrations. The biggest selling EV was the Tesla Model Y, with 2,509 registrations for the month, ranking it number 9 overall for the month and number 7 in the overall car market for the year to date with 14,012 sales.
The UK now boasts more than 80 zero emission models, available across every single segment of the market, accounting for around a quarter of all new car models available. More than 720,000 EVs have been registered in total.
“Transforming the market nationwide, however, and at an even greater pace means we must increase demand and help any reticent driver overcome any concerns about electric vehicles,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.
“This will require every stakeholder – industry, government, chargepoint operators and energy companies – to play their part, accelerating investment to drive decarbonisation.”
According to SMMT, these new BEVs have an average battery range of 236 miles (380 kilometres), well in excess of UK drivers’ average weekly mileage of around 100 miles (160 kilometres).
Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and hybrids (HEVs) grew sales by 23% and 22.2% respectively, and accounting for 6.2% and 12.3% of all new registrations, respectively.
It is hoped that the UK’s new Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate, which sets a minimum quota for new BEV registrations for all brands, will help drive this growth.
But more is needed, with SMMT calling for “supportive fiscal framework, simplified planning processes, faster grid connections, and the provision of a nationwide network of reliable, affordable, and sustainable charge points”.
Joshua S. Hill is a Melbourne-based journalist who has been writing about climate change, clean technology, and electric vehicles for over 15 years. He has been reporting on electric vehicles and clean technologies for Renew Economy and The Driven since 2012. His preferred mode of transport is his feet.
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