Battery electric vehicles outsell petrol in UK during December

According to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the UK new car market recorded its fifth consecutive month of growth in December, with an 18.3% increase to reach 128,462 new registrations. 

What’s even more impressive is that in December battery electric vehicles (BEVs) claimed their largest-ever monthly market share selling more than petrol vehicles in the UK. 

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In December an impressive  42,285 battery electric vehicles were sold. This accounts for 32.9% of all vehicles sold. In comparison, 42,091 petrol vehicles were sold in December in the UK accounting for 32.2% of sales. 

Diesel vehicle sales continued to fall accounting for just 3.1% of vehicle sales. This shows that the change and transition to electric vehicles remain strong and looks set to continue to grow.

For the year-to-date, 267,203 zero emissions electric cars were sold in the UK. This compares to 190,727 for the same period in 2021 and accounts for a 40.1% increase. 

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) saw their annual share decline to 6.3%, meaning that combined, all plug-in vehicles accounted for 22.9% of new registrations in 2022. This is a record high, although a smaller increase in overall market share than recorded in previous years.

While private buyers accounted for more than half of all registrations, fleets and business buyers were responsible for the lion’s share of battery electric vehicles. They accounted for two-thirds (66.7%) of all BEV registrations and 74.7% of the volume gain in 2022.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The automotive market remains adrift of its pre-pandemic performance but could well buck wider economic trends by delivering significant growth in 2023. 

“To secure that growth, which is increasingly zero emission growth, government must help all drivers go electric and compel others to invest more rapidly in nationwide charging infrastructure. 

“Manufacturers’ innovation and commitment have helped EVs become the second most popular car type, however, for a nation aiming for electric mobility leadership, that must be matched with policies and investment that remove consumer uncertainty over switching, not least over where drivers can charge their vehicles.”

Ian Osborne
Ian Osborne
Editor-in-Chief at ElectricDrives

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