One in 11 cars rolling off factory lines now zero emission

Battery-electric vehicle production is up by a third, with one in 11 cars rolling off factory lines now zero emission, says SMMT.

UK car production fell -20.1% to 68,790 units last month, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), signifying the weakest January total since 2009.

The continued shift towards electrified vehicles, however, means that zero emission battery-electric vehicles now account for one in 11 cars made in the UK, as their production rose 37.6% to 6,326 units.

Including plug-in hybrids and hybrids, electrified vehicles accounted for more than a quarter of output (27.4%, up from 25.4% in 2021).

Several factors conspired to drive year on year production down still further in January 2022. The sustained worldwide shortage of semiconductors was the most significant cause, exacerbated by the loss of volume arising from a major plant closure in July 2021 and production variations caused by the changeover of some popular models.

Production for both overseas and domestic markets was down year on year, by -17.5% and -30.8% respectively, as exports accounted for more than eight in 10 cars made. The EU remained the largest destination for UK-made cars, taking 59.1% of exports, followed by China (10.4%) and the US (10.0%).

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “It’s another torrid start to the year as global supply issues and structural changes squeeze output while model changes impact production scheduling. The UK automotive manufacturing industry is, however, fundamentally strong and recent investment announcements are testament to the potential for growth, not least in terms of rising EV production.

“Long-term recovery can only be delivered, however, if global competitiveness is assured and for that we must address both inflationary and fixed costs, most obviously escalating energy prices, but also fiscal and trading costs.

“Every measure must be taken if we are to secure a bright, electrified future for our world-class automotive manufacturing base and the high skilled, high value jobs it creates across Britain.”

Image: Shutterstock

Sign up for our essential
newsletter service.

Enter your details here.