UK BEV sales grow by more than 50% versus this time last year

UK BEV sales grow by more than 50% versus this time last year


New figures, released today by the SMMT for January 2021, show it’s been another great month for electric vehicle (EV) sales. Overall, 13.7% of all new UK car sales in January had a plug – up from 5.9% in January 2020.

Whilst overall car sales in January 2021 decreased by 39.5% compared with the same period last year, likely reflecting the impact of the coronavirus, the past month’s figures represent a strong growth of EVs. This was a growth of 54.4% in sales of battery electric vehicles (BEV), and 28% in plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) compared to January 2020 – a significant increase.

uk bev sales grow market share

As you can see in the chart above, January 2021 saw another 12,384 new EV registrations recorded in the UK – 6,260 BEVs and 6,124 PHEVs – meaning that registrations of electric vehicles continue to rise in absolute numbers. (In comparison, 4,054 BEVs and 4,786 PHEVs were sold in January 2020, totalling 8,840 new EV registrations.)

This takes the cumulative total of plug-in vehicles on UK roads to over 450,000 (approx. 210,000 BEVs and 240,000 PHEVs).

uk bev sales grow market share

The graph above shows that January 2021 has proved to be another strong month for plug-in vehicle sales, with EVs making up 13.7% of overall vehicle sales.

Although January sees the growth in BEV sales levelling off slightly after a steep increase in 2020, market share for both BEV and PHEV is more than double that of the January 2020 figures.

These latest figures continue to reflect the increased demand for EVs, in tandem with a waning interest in traditional vehicles, such as diesel.

Melanie Shufflebotham, co-founder and chief operating officer at Zap-Map, commented:

“While overall car sales have shown a significant drop, electric vehicles continue to buck this trend with another impressive month for EV sales.

“The more than 50% increase in sales of BEVs is a testament to the fantastic progress we’ve made since this time last year. It’s a trend we expect to continue, with new investment and infrastructure being announced all the time. Now it’s all about making charging as simple as possible for EV drivers, and giving confidence to those looking to make the switch.”