New car registrations in the UK fell by 20.6 percent to 124,394 units in the second weakest May since 1992, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). This is because supply shortages continue to hamper new purchases and the fulfilment of existing orders. Once again electric vehicles (EVs) bucked this trend.
May saw registrations of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) rose by an impressive 17.7 percent as sales hit 15,448 units. This compares to 13,1200 for the same month last year. This means that one in eight new cars joining the road last month in the UK were zero-emissions.
Battery electric vehicle sales have been good throughout the year in the UK, despite semiconductor shortages, and account for 92,512 registrations so far in 2022. This compares to 54,051 in 2021. That means there has been a 71.2 percent increase year-on-year for the same period. Incentives and infrastructure have been key to consumer confidence in choosing electric cars.
SMMT figures show that plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) declined 25.5 percent, while hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) were up 12 percent. This means that deliveries of electrified vehicles accounted for three in 10 new cars.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “In yet another challenging month for the new car market, the industry continues to battle ongoing global parts shortages, with growing battery electric vehicle uptake one of the few bright spots.
“To continue this momentum and drive a robust mass market for these vehicles, we need to ensure every buyer has the confidence to go electric. This requires an acceleration in the rollout of accessible charging infrastructure to match the increasing number of plug-in vehicles, as well as incentives for the purchase of new, cleaner and greener cars.
“Delivering on Net Zero means renewing the vehicles on our roads at pace but, with rising inflation and a squeeze on household incomes, this will be increasingly difficult unless businesses and private buyers have the confidence and encouragement to do so.”