SMMT figures show continued rise in sales of EVs

Figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that sales of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) rose 17.7% year-on-year in May to 15,448.

Whilst new car sales continued to struggle overall as a result of continued supply shortages, registrations of EVs represented one in eight new cars joining the road last month.

New UK car registrations fell -20.6% to 124,394 units in the second weakest May since 1992, after the 2020 pandemic-hit market.

Sales of hybrids were up 12%, while plug-in hybrids fell 25.5%.

Just 7,614 diesel cars were sold in May – almost 50% less than the number of EV sales. Sales of petrol cars continue to lead the way with 56,767 sold during May.

The market share for EVs has risen from 7.5% to 14% with 92,512 sold so far this year.

Electric vans

Some 869 battery electric vans (BEV) were registered in the month – 276 more than last May. BEV registrations for the year to date are 62.7% higher than last year, due in part down to significant large fleet orders delivered earlier in the year. As a result, over the year to date, overall BEV market share has more than doubled to 5.2% – testament to the growing choice provided by manufacturers, with one in three models now available as a plug-in.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “In yet another challenging month for the new car market, the industry continues to battle ongoing global parts shortages, with growing battery electric vehicle uptake one of the few bright spots. To continue this momentum and drive a robust mass market for these vehicles, we need to ensure every buyer has the confidence to go electric. This requires an acceleration in the rollout of accessible charging infrastructure to match the increasing number of plug-in vehicles, as well as incentives for the purchase of new, cleaner and greener cars.

“Delivering on Net Zero means renewing the vehicles on our roads at pace but, with rising inflation and a squeeze on household incomes, this will be increasingly difficult unless businesses and private buyers have the confidence and encouragement to do so.”

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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