October saw yet another increase in the market share of EVs as a percentage of all UK car sales, the month recording a market share of 12.1%, a UK record excepting the unusual circumstances of April and May 2020 due to the first coronavirus lockdown.
In total, another 17,110 new EV registrations were recorded in October 2020 (9,335 BEVs and 7,775 PHEVs), taking the UK cumulative total to more than 390,000 plug-in vehicles on UK roads (approx. 173,500 BEVs and 217,000 PHEVs).
Last year saw the biggest annual increase in number of registrations, with more than 72,000 electric vehicles registered showing a growth of 22% on 2018. This year, despite the coronavirus impact, 2020 will see an even greater growth rate. Key models at the top of the sales charts for 2020 to date include the Tesla Model 3 and Vauxhall Corsa-e.
Taken as a whole, the year of 2020 has taken the number of EVs as a proportion of all new vehicles to a new high. In 2015 just 1.1% of vehicles registered had a plug compared to 3.2% in 2019; by the end of October 2020 (YTD), this figure has accelerated to 9.1% as an average for the year (5.5% BEV and 3.6% PHEV). These numbers reflect both the increase in demand for electric vehicles and the decline in demand for traditional, particularly diesel, vehicles.
Over the past few years the majority of the new registrations were PHEVs, but in 2020 with longer range and greater model choice available as BEVs, this has now reversed with pure EVs leading on monthly sales and annual market share.
This trend is forecast to strengthen as battery prices continue to fall and the regulatory costs associated with engine production (as used by PHEVs) rise. Bloomberg predicts that pure EVs will be cheaper to manufactures than conventional vehicles by 2023, meaning that plug-in EVs sales are likely to give way to fully electric models in the longer term.