New car registrations expected to rise rapidly, with plug-in vehicles leading the charge, as showrooms prepare to reopen

According to the latest figures by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) the UK new car market recorded its first ‘growth’ since August 2020. It recorded 29,280 more units being registered during March compared to the same month last year. Once again the biggest growth area is in plug-cars and vehicles.

The month represents the anniversary of the first lockdown in March 2020. This is when the pandemic brought Britain to a standstill and registrations fell by minus 44.4 percent.

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As mentioned the shift to newer cleaner planet-friendly technologies continues with plug-in vehicle demand reaching its highest ever volume. Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) took a combined market share of 13.9 percent. This is up from 7.3 percent in 2020 as the number of models available to customers has increased from 72 to 116.

Registrations of BEVs during March 2021 increased by 88.2 percent to 22,003 units, while PHEVs rose by 152.2 to 17,330. Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) also rose 42.0 percent to reach 21,599 registrations. These are incredible figures and shows that lockdown has helped to change customers’ perspective on driving low and zero-emission cars and vehicles.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The past year has been the toughest in modern history and the automotive sector has, like many others, been hit hard. However, with showrooms opening in less than a week, there is optimism that consumer confidence, and hence the market, will return. We know we will see record-breaking growth next month given April 2020 was a washout.

“New plug-in models are already helping drive a recovery but to convince more retail consumers to make the switch, they must be assured these new technologies will be convenient for their driving needs and that means, above all, that the charging infrastructure is there where they need it, and when they need it.”

Ian Osborne
Ian Osborne
Editor-in-Chief at ElectricDrives

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