According to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) UK new car registrations fell by 14.3 percent to 243,479 units in March. This is the weakest March since 1998. Meanwhile, battery electric vehicle (BEV) registrations bucked the trend with 78.7 percent growth compared to last year.
It’s believed that economic headwinds such as rising energy costs, fuel costs, inflation and a squeeze on household incomes impacted overall new vehicle demand.
Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) registrations grew to 39,315 units taking a 16.1 percent market share. This is the highest volume of BEV registrations ever recorded in a single month in the UK.
This means that more zero-emissions vehicles were registered in March 2022 than during the entirety of 2019. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) registrations declined by 7.5 percent to 16,037 units while hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) grew 28.4 percent to 27,737 units.
As a result, electrified vehicles accounted for more than a third (34.1 percent) of all new car registrations. With grants for BEVs ongoing until at least next March, however, interest rates still low and electric cars benefiting from lower running costs, there are significant benefits for drivers who can order new vehicles now.
Diesel sales remained poor during the month falling from 30,730 registrations in March 2021 to 13,736 in March 2022, a 55.2 percent drop. So far this year diesel sales have been low accounting for just 23,686 units compared to 48,574 units for the same period last year. This accounts for a 51.2 percent drop.
Zero emissions electric vehicles have continued to grow in 2022 and so far this year have seen 64,165 registrations. This compares to 31,779 in 2021 and accounts for an impressive 101.9 percent increase year on year, show driving electric is the way forward.
According to the SMMT, the Tesla Model Y was the best selling car in the UK during March 2022 with 6,464 registrations. This was followed by the Tesla Model 3 with 6,457 registrations and the Vauxhall Corsa rounded out the top three with 5,515 units. It’s amazing to see two electric vehicles top the overall sales in the UK.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Placing orders now will be beneficial for those looking to take advantage of incentives and lower running costs for electric vehicles, especially as the Ukraine crisis could affect supply still further.
“With increasing household and business costs, government must do all it can to support consumers so that the growth of electric vehicles can be sustained and the UK’s ambitious net zero timetable delivered.”