According to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), April saw an artificial 30-fold increase of new car registrations compared to the same month last year. This increase was expected and predicted with the opening of car showrooms.
Overall volumes remained at minus 12.9 percent lower than the 10-year average at just 141,583 new units. Meanwhile, plug-in vehicle sales remained strong as more people continued to switch to cleaner driving.
The plug-in vehicle market share broadly followed the same trend seen in recent months with another solid performance. It accounted for just over one in eight vehicles or 13.2 percent. Unusually, plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) which accounted for 6.8 percent of the market, were more popular than battery electric vehicles (BEVs) at 6.5 percent.
One reason for the increased growth of PHEVs could be because of the cuts to the Plug-in Car Grant. Monthly BEV uptake was down compared with the first quarter of 2021 which had been running at 7.5 percent of total registrations.
It’s far from doom and gloom for BEVs sales, though. Compared to April 2020 BEV sales have increased 556 percent from 1,374 sales to an impressive 9,152 in 2021. Sales of PHEVs for April 2021 were 9,600 compared to 95 in April 2020.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “After one of the darkest years in automotive history, there is light at the end of the tunnel. A full recovery for the sector is still some way off, but with showrooms open and consumers able to test drive the latest, cleanest models, the industry can begin to rebuild.”