Registrations of new electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles continued to climb in November while diesel sales took a dive, according to the latest SMMT figures.
The new car registration figures for November were released this morning (December 4) and showed that overall they had dropped by 27.4 per cent to 113,781.
While both petrol and diesel saw their total drop year-on-year, by 41.9 per cent and 56.2 per cent respectively, cars that include some form of electrification grew by 74.1 per cent.
Although this does include mild hybrid petrol and diesel figures, as well as battery electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), the segment grew by 42,001 vehicles in November.
Meanwhile, only 15,925 diesel vehicles were registered.
Market share for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) continued to grow significantly, up 122.4 per cent and 76.9 per cent respectively.
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BEVs recorded their third highest ever monthly share of registrations at 9.1 per cent, while PHEV share increased to 6.8 per cent – a combined total of more than 18,000 new zero-emission capable cars joining Britain’s roads.
Matt Cleevely, owner of Cleevely Electric Vehicles, commented that when market share was at around two per cent 18 months ago, he knew it wouldn’t stay that way for long.
‘I’m not surprised there’s been an increase,’ he commented.
‘Once you’ve tried an EV, you don’t go back to an internal combustion engine vehicle.’
He told Car Dealer that they’d spoken to petrol and diesel owners who said they ‘need to look into having an EV at some point’ this month.
Richard Symons, founder of EV specialist R Symons spoke to Car Dealer about changing public perception of zero-emission vehicles and said: ‘Nothing other than the pandemic could have made such an immediate impact and scientifically prove, straight away, the difference transport and industry makes to pollution.
‘We could see the change with many visual pollution charts and it hopefully helped create motivation to keep some of that reduction going.
‘EV sales are always rising, new and used, which is down to continued awareness, education, visibility and word of mouth. Most people who own an EV wouldn’t want to go back to combustion.
He added: ‘I expect this rate of uptake to continue. The cars work and the technology is really getting there now.
‘Even post-pandemic and as time goes on, the technology will improve, the cost will come down and more people will want EVs.’
Peter Barnes, partner and head of automotive at global legal business DWF, commented: ‘Electric cars have risen year on year, by 74.1 per cent, and the anticipation is that such sales will continue to increase following the news last month that the government is backing the UK’s car manufacturers to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles.
‘However, whilst the 2030 date had been backed by businesses operating some of the UK’s largest private-sector fleets, many carmakers and trade bodies have expressed anger at the new target, claiming that the industry is not ready to deliver such a rapid transition, and that the costs of the transition will need to be passed on to the consumer in the absence of further government support.’