One in three new cars registered in December were electric

Electric cars recorded their highest ever market share in December 2022, with one in three new cars sold being electric.

According to statistics released by New Automotive electric vehicles were the second most popular type of car sold in December.

For the first time since at least 2010, petrol’s share of the market fell below 40% – a significant milestone in the decline of fossil fueled cars and the transition to electric. 

Ben Nelmes, Chief Executive Officer at New AutoMotive, said: “December’s figures are seriously impressive. This is the result of years of government support through consumer and fiscal incentives, as well as a clear long-term ambition to end sales of fossil fuelled cars by 2035.

“As the government winds up grants and incentives for electric cars, it needs to be careful that these impressive numbers are not just a flash in the pan. Electric car registrations can go down as well as up. Ministers should enshrine their 2035 ambition in law by introducing a California-style Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) mandate, which provides the market with clarity about the UK’s journey to cleaner road transport.

“Delays to the UK’s plans to introduce a zero emissions vehicle mandate risk undermining the case for investment in gigafactories and charging infrastructure. A strong ZEV mandate will bring forward running cost savings for consumers that dwarf debates about fuel duty rates. Consumers have shown that they are ready to pass on petrol and embrace electric; now is the time for the government to show that it is on their side by setting ambitious targets that enable more people to access the benefits of going electric.”

Significantly, December was the first month ever that petrol cars recorded a market share of under 40% – new petrol sales made up just 37% of the market in December, and petrol’s loss of market share was electric gain. Pure electric cars jumped into the number 2 spot in the list of most popular fuel types, in a repeat of December 2021, with one in three new car registrations in December for an electric vehicle. New Diesel sales were again negligible, continuing a long-term trend, whilst hybrids claimed a steady but unspectacular market share of 23% – typical of the fuel types performance over 2022, as demand for hybrids has stagnated.

Based on a three-month rolling average, the following areas are EV hotspots this month, with EVs taking the following shares of new car sales:

  • Oxfordshire – 53% 
  • Anglia – 39%
  • London – 31%
  • Manchester & Merseyside – 28%
  • North-East – 28%
  • West of England – 26%

Images and tables in story courtesy of New Automotive.

Sign up for our essential
newsletter service.

Enter your details here.