Today has seen the latest figures detailing new car registrations in July released by The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Sales of battery-electric vehicles (BEV) played a significant role last month, representing 9% of all new car registrations. While by no means the highest share, or indeed number, of sales that BEVs have enjoyed to date, it is encouraging to see that sales of these pure-electric vehicles have increased by 36.5% compared with July 2020.
July also saw sales of petrol and diesel cars drop significantly, with petrol decreasing by 45.5% and diesel by nearly 70% compared with the same period in 2020. Despite this positive news, however, there were also some worrying signs.
As in June 2021, there were significant increases last month in the sales of mild hybrid electric vehicles (MHEV). Sales of MHEV petrol vehicles increased by 63%, from 10,253 in July 2020 to 16,701 last month. Hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) also increased 15.5% in July 2021 compared to the same period last year.
Although the increases are not as pronounced as those in June 2021, the figures highlight the need for better consumer communication and education around the different types of hybrid vehicles available, with MHEVs and HEVs providing very little environmental benefit. See Zap-Map’s page on plug-in options for more information on plug-in vehicles.
The chart above displays the number of registrations and the market share of plug-in vehicles each month over the past 13 months. As you can see, July 2021 saw a total of 21,039 new electric vehicle registrations, comprising 11,139 BEVs and 9,900 PHEVs.
This takes the cumulative total of plug-in vehicles on UK roads – as of the end of July 2021 – to over 590,000 (approx. 290,000 BEVs and 300,000 PHEVs). In terms of market share, plug-in sales were at 17.0% last month.
July 2021 wasn’t a bad month at all for plug-in vehicles, which made up 17.0% of overall vehicle sales, down by 0.2% from June. As you can see in the graph above, this means they now represent 14.8% of market share in 2021 year-to-date. So far in 2021, BEVs represent 8.2% of market share, with PHEVs at 6.6%. The two figures have been steadily increasing as the year progresses.
Overall, sales of new plug-in vehicles continue to show very encouraging signs. Although no plug-in vehicle broke into the top ten last month, Tesla’s Model 3 did take the top spot in June.
The UK’s EV charging infrastructure continues to expand at pace, with GeniePoint and Morrisons hitting a major charging milestone this week and Shell Recharge announcing plans to build hundreds of EV charging points at Waitrose stores over the next few years. GeniePoint also revealed it is the latest charge point operator to join Zap-Pay, the simple way to pay for EV charging across networks from within the Zap-Map app.