BEVs now one in six of all new registrations

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show strong plug-in growth and also reveal battery electric vehicle registrations have risen 18.2% in the last month.

UK new car registrations grew by 26.2% in February as 74,441 new cars joined Britain’s roads – the seventh month of consecutive growth as easing supply chain shortages moved the market closer to pre-pandemic levels.

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) recorded the most significant growth of all fuel types – up 40% – while diesel registrations fell by -7.0%. Zero emission vehicles also continued their upward trend, with plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) rising 1% and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) up 18.2%, which is one in six of all new UK car registrations.

Plug-ins accounted for almost a quarter – 22.8% – of all deliveries in the month, with further growth anticipated. Nearly half a million (488,000) PHEVs and BEVs are expected in 2023 as manufacturers bring more than 40 new plug-in electric models to the market, the SMMT said.

It comes as the van market also saw its best results for a quarter of a century as light commercial vehicle (LCV) registrations grew 8.5% in the best February performance since 1998.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “After seven months of growth, it is no surprise that the UK automotive sector is facing the future with growing confidence. It is vital, however, that government takes every opportunity to back the market, which plays a significant role in Britain’s economy and net zero ambition. As we move into ‘new plate month’ in March, with more of the latest high-tech cars available, the upcoming Budget must deliver measures that drive this transition, increasing affordability and ease of charging for all.

“Following a torrid 2022, the UK van market is returning to sustained growth that is exceeding even pre-pandemic levels. Given the importance of vans to keeping the British economy and society on the move, this growth is good news. With the ZEV market still at a very early stage, however, a concerted effort by all stakeholders to accelerate van-suitable chargepoint installation must become an urgent priority, enabling long-term net zero fleet investment at the scale necessary.”

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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