Record month for electric car sales in August

Positive performance for electric and PHEV market


Plug-in car sales saw significant growth in June, with almost 4,500 units registered last month. This represents 1.8% of the new car market, equalling the previous record market share set in April 2017.

This growth is despite overall car registrations falling by almost 5%, with pure electric units up more than 45% over June 2016, and PHEV sales up more than a third.

In total 4,444 plug-in cars were registered in June 2017, 4,156 of which were eligible for the Plug-in Car Grant, accounting for 94% of plug-in registrations. This is below both the average figure for 2017 to date, and the rolling 12-month average.

June’s registrations saw one third of plug-in cars sold made up of pure-electric models, which is largely in line with the year-to-date average, but above the rolling 12-month figure.

Overall, June’s plug-in car registrations are the fifth highest on record, and contribute to the best first six months for the electric vehicle market ever. The first half of 2017 is currently ahead of the previous best six months’ performance by more than 14%, a record set in the past by the same period in 2016.


The positive plug-in car market performance comes against a backdrop of relatively poor overall sales for June. Overall registrations dropped 4.6% compared to last year, though that is largely because of diesel sales dropping almost 15%. This is slightly better than previous figures of -20% in May and -27% in April, but still represents clear decline for a fuel that is subject to increasing uncertainty in terms of taxation and air quality penalties.

Petrol took a little of diesel’s registrations, with an increase of 2.5%, though again it is alternatively fuelled vehicles that have benefited most. The sector which includes pure-EV, PHEV, and hybrids saw an increase in 29% for June compared to the previous year, representing an overall market share of 4.4%.

It seems that new car buyers are moving away from diesel cars, and instead opting for electrified models to retain or better the similar CO2 and fuel economy benefits that diesels provide, but without the cost of other air pollutants.

Table above courtesy of SMMT