Electric vehicle sales in March more than double same period last year

Electric vehicle sales in March more than double same period last year


New figures from the SMMT have today been released detailing new car registrations in March 2021. In a fantastic month for sales of electric vehicles (EVs), March saw more than double the number of EVs sold versus the same period last year.

Just over 22,000 battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and more than 17,000 plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) were sold over the course of March. This represents a jump of 112.5% in total EV sales compared with March 2020.

What’s more, for the first time in 2021, an electric car has made it to the top ten bestsellers. Tesla’s Model 3 came in fourth last month, selling 6,585 models in the UK.

electric vehicle sales march double year

The chart above shows the number of registrations and the market share of plug-in vehicles each month over the past 13 months.

As you can see, March 2021 saw a total of 39,333 new electric vehicle registrations, comprising 22,003 BEVs and 17,330 PHEVs. Compared with the same period last year, this represents a 88.2% increase for BEVs and a 152.2% increase for PHEVs.

This takes the cumulative total of plug-in vehicles on UK roads – as of the end of March 2021 – to almost 500,000 (approx. 237,000 BEVs and 260,000 PHEVs).

In terms of market share, EV sales were at 13.8% last month – up from 7.3% in March 2020.

electric vehicle sales march double year

The graph above shows that March 2021 was another great month for plug-in vehicle sales. Electric vehicles made up 13.8% of overall vehicle sales, meaning they also represent 13.8% of market share in 2021 year-to-date.

So far in 2021, BEVs represent 7.5% of market share, with PHEVs at 6.3%.

Best sellers

Last month saw the Tesla Model 3 break into the top ten cars sold in the UK. At number four on the list, the Model 3 sold 6,585 models in the UK. This news comes as Tesla has broken the EV delivery record, delivering 184,800 electric cars to customers (globally) in the first quarter of 2021.

While sales of electric vehicles continue to grow strongly, in parallel to the development of UK charging point infrastructure, we are seeing a significant decline in demand for traditional vehicles with internal combustion engines.

In contrast to EVs, sales of diesel vehicles in March 2021 saw a 31.4% drop in sales compared with the same period last year, and petrol vehicles experienced a 10% decrease.