2023 will see 448,000 new electric vehicles (EVs) hitting UK roads

According to figures from DriveElectric, one of the UK’s leading electric vehicle leasing companies, a total of 448,000 new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) will be registered in the UK in 2023,

This figure is based on DriveElectric’s own forecasts and it represents a significant increase from 267,203, the number of battery electric vehicles (cars and light vans) registered in the UK in 2022. The figure of 448,000 does not include plug-in hybrids (PHEVs). This is an impressive figure and shows that the transition to electric cars is continuing to gather pace.

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DriveElectric is predicting a 24.9 per cent market share for BEVs in 2023 (unchanged from its original forecast from 2019) and a total market of 1.8 million registrations, translating to 448,000 BEV registrations for 2023.

DriveElectric uses its own model built from its intelligence of the UK market to forecast registrations of battery electric cars and vans each year. In its January 2022 forecast, the company predicted a 16.7 per cent market share for BEVs in 2022. This was almost identical to the actual market share of 16.6 per cent although the total number of registrations of all cars and vans in 2022 was reduced due to supply challenges.

Background issues influencing the 2023 forecast include:

  • Availability of EVs will continue to improve, following ongoing vehicle shortages primarily due to semiconductor supply issues over recent years.
  • OEMs will have more capability to produce and deliver vehicles as more EV factories open around the world.
  • Many more new EV models will arrive in the UK, with a particular increase in the presence of Chinese brands.
  • Continued volatility in energy prices will see more people exploring ways to reduce energy costs for charging EVs, for example using solar and battery storage, with increased awareness about forthcoming vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging.
  • There will be continued accelerated expansion of the public charging network, including rapid and ultra-rapid chargers, with new operators gaining a foothold in the UK market such as Fastned, and longer term, Mercedes-Benz.
  • UK businesses will continue the move to reduce their corporate carbon footprint.
  • Confirmation of benefit in kind (BIK) for UK company car drivers (2% until April 2025, then rising by 1% each year to 5% in April 2028) and salary sacrifice has made for a more stable environment for businesses transitioning to EVs.
  • There will also be increasing numbers of battery electric heavy goods vehicles (despite predictions that this market would never develop); the challenge will be building a charging network for them.

Mike Potter, DriveElectric managing director, said: “EV registrations will continue to increase in 2023 as the industry recovers from challenges such as the semiconductor shortage.

“As yet more new EV models come to market, businesses will continue their enthusiastic transition to EVs, however, the risk is that retail demand will be impacted by cost of living concerns.”

Looking further ahead, a Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate is due to be introduced by the UK government from 2024. Even at this late stage, the full details are still not known but the overall aim is to mandate manufacturers to sell an increasing proportion of electric vehicles each year in the lead-up to the UK’s 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel car and van sales in 2030.

From 2025 onwards, DriveElectric sees particularly high numbers of EV sales. around 50 per cent of registrations. Registrations of petrol and diesel vehicles will decline naturally ahead of the 2030 ban as people will stop buying them due to poor residual values. This means higher lease costs as EV prices become competitive with prices of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.

Electric vehicles are seen as a key solution to help the UK achieve its net zero greenhouse gas targets. EVs also help with the problem of local air quality and have lower running costs than petrol and diesel vehicles. However, a key factor in the rapid increase in EV adoption is that the vast majority of motorists prefer the driving experience of EVs compared to petrol and diesel cars and vans.

Ian Osborne
Ian Osborne
Editor-in-Chief at ElectricDrives

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