New car registrations grew by 14.7% in January as electric vehicles drove the increase with battery-electrics rising almost 20% alone.
The figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which represents six successive months of expansion, also saw hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) rise 14.4%, increasing volumes by 40.6%.
In total, BEV registrations have now reached 17,294 units or 13.1% of all new registrations and one in five new cars now come with a plug.
Plug-ins are anticipated to be more than one in four new registrations this year, representing growth of 32.1% or approximately 487,140 units, and almost a third of the market in 2024 at 607,150 units.
The strong start to the year is mirrored in the latest market outlook, which anticipates 1.79 million new car registrations in 2023 – an 11.1% increase on the past year.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “The automotive industry is already delivering growth that bucks the national trend and is poised, with the right framework, to accelerate the decarbonisation of the UK economy.
“The industry and market are in transition, but fragile due to a challenging economic outlook, rising living costs and consumer anxiety over new technology. We look to a Budget that will reaffirm the commitment to net zero and provide measures that drive green growth for the sector and the nation.”
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