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    Battery electric vehicle (BEV) production in the UK in 2021 saw record numbers with volumes up 72 percent

    UK car production in 2021 fell by 6.7 percent to only 859,575 units, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). This is the worst total since 1956. Despite this, British car factories produced a record number of electric vehicles (EVs)

    Output was 61,353 less than 2020, which itself was badly affected by coronavirus lockdowns, and 34 percent below pre-pandemic 2019. Fortunately, the positive transition to battery electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) help the industry.

    The plug-in sector of the UK’s motor industry turned out almost a quarter of a million (224,011) zero- and ultra-low emission vehicles. This represents more than one in four (26.1percent) of all cars made.

    The shift to electrified vehicle manufacture continued at pace as BEV production surged 72 percent, while hybrids rose 16.4 percent, as the UK motor industry, like the market, transforms into a low and, ultimately, zero-emissions industry.

    Despite the dismal overall performance of the motor industry, there were significant developments that give the industry increased confidence. Most of these were focused on electrified vehicles.

    These included the announcement of Nissan’s £1 billion EV36Zero electric vehicle hub in Sunderland, Stellantis’ £100 million investment in Ellesmere Port and the announcement that Britishvolt plans to build a transformational UK battery Gigaplant to meet electric vehicle (EV) demand.

    Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, “2021 was another incredibly difficult year for UK car manufacturing, one of the worst since the Second World War. Despite this miserable year, there is optimism.

    “With Brexit uncertainty largely overcome with the TCA deal, investments have been unleashed, most of which will help transform the sector to its zero-emission future. This is a vote of global confidence in the UK but must be matched by a commitment to our long-term competitiveness.”

    Ian Osborne
    Ian Osborne
    Editor-in-Chief at ElectricDrives

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