September was a record month for the electric car market, with more than 7,700 pure-electric models registered. Combined with more than 5,000 plug-in hybrid registrations, the total electric vehicle figure for September 2019 was almost 12,900 units.
The latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show significant growth for the EV market. Pure-electric registrations rose 236% compared to September 2018, and even PHEVs – recently in decline – saw a 23% increase. This is against the backdrop of an overall market that grew 1.3%
The pure-electric sales record is beaten by some considerable margin. The previous record for a single month’s pure-EV registrations was in March 2019, with 3,917 units. September 2019’s 7,704 registrations smashes that record. To put it into context, only four months total EV sales – pure-electric and PHEV combined – have topped September 2019’s pure EV numbers.
Pure-electric market share for September finished at 2.2%, and 3.8% for EVs and PHEVs combined. It’s the joint third highest market share in the UK, impressive considering it fell in September.
September and March are traditionally strong months for the car market as a whole as these are the times when the new registration plates arrive. In March for example, the total EV registrations of almost 8,900 was one of the highest on record, though considering the strong performance of the rest of the market, it only made up 1.9% of total sales.
PHEVs saw a good performance considering much of the year has been a struggle for the sector. March to July 2019 saw continuous decline compared to 2018, and August only saw 1.8% growth. September’s figure of 5,179 units made up 85% growth compared to last year’s sales.
September’s figures mean that we are now comfortably ahead of the same stage last year. Jan-Sept 2018 had 44,688 electric vehicles registered – 11,270 EVs and 33,418 PHEVs. New electric vehicle registrations to the end of September 2019 have seen 48,056 models registered – 25,072 of them pure-electric and 22,984 PHEVs. It means the UK is 7.5% ahead of where it was at the same stage last year.
The impressive sales look to have come about due to a combination of factors. Increased choice for customers is coming on-line, with new models from the likes of Mercedes and Tesla adding to registration figures. On top of that, increased supply of newer models from Audi and Kia means more customers are registering their cars.
PHEVs seem to be lifted by a similar increase in options. Where many manufacturers had sold out of previous generation PHEVs, the likes of VW and BMW have brought out new versions in popular sectors – particularly valuable to fleet buyers – which has made a greater number of models available.