The latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that battery electric vehicles (BEVs) secured a 20.1% market share in August – a 72/3% increase on the same period in 2022.
The new car market grew 24.4% in August with 85,657 new vehicles registered. While August is typically a quieter month with many buyers choosing to wait until the September numberplate change, an increase of 16,799 units means the sector is now entering a second year of growth. Despite this improved performance, the market still remains -7.5% below pre-pandemic levels.
The increase was fuelled by a surge in registrations by large fleets, rising 58.4% to 51,951 units, while business registrations grew 39.4% to 1,635 units. Conversely, private demand softened by -8.1%, compared with a supply-constrained 2022 market.
Demand for electrified vehicles continued to grow, accounting for almost four in 10 (37.8%) new cars reaching the road. Plug-in hybrid uptake also rose significantly, by 70.0%, to account for 7.7% of new registrations. Hybrid volumes remained relatively stable with a 6.8% increase, comprising 10.0% of the market.
However, with less than four months to go until the expected introduction of a Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate, the SMMT has called for sight of the proposed regulation.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “With the automotive industry beginning a second year of growth, recovery is underway with EVs energising the market. But with a new Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate due to come into force in less than 120 days, manufacturers still await the details. Businesses cannot plan on the basis of consultations, they need certainty. And now, more than ever, government must match action to ambition, ensuring there are the incentives and infrastructure in place to convince drivers to make the switch.”
Graphics courtesy of SMMT. Main image from Shutterstock.