Surge in demand for battery electric vehicles as tax incentives take effect

According to a survey by the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association  (BVRLA) battery electric vehicles (BEVs) surged to take a 15 percent share of new lease car registrations in the third quarter of 2020. This happened as the Government’s benefit-in-kind (BiK) tax incentives took full-effect.

The survey also found that plug-in and hybrid vehicles overtook diesel cars in gaining a 36 percent share of new lease car registrations during the same period. They also look set to overtake petrol cars soon.

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Nearly one-fifth of the BVRLA car leasing fleet now relies on some form of electric powertrain as the fleet sector continues to drive the transition to cleaner road transport. Diesel’s share of the total lease car market fell below 50 percent for the first time, while petrol held steady with a 34 percent share.

Average CO2 emissions for BVRLA car leasing fleet new registrations fell from 107g/km to 105g/km in Q3-2020. This was a new low and around eight percent lower than the national average.

The car leasing market, excluding PCP and Motability vehicles, saw its fleet shrink by six percent. The biggest reduction was seen in the business fleet, which was down 8.7 percent year-on-year. This decline was driven by an 11 percent fall in the business contract hire fleet compared to the same period of 2019. These fleet size declines were partially offset by an increase in the consumer leasing fleet, which was up four percent year-on-year.  

The light commercial vehicle lease fleet continued to increase in Q3, albeit at a slower rate of 1.1 percent year-on-year, following two consecutive quarters of a 2.1 percent growth.

Gerry Keaney,  BVRLA chief executive, said:

“Quarter three of last year delivered the long-awaited surge in BEV registrations that we expected after the introduction of the zero-rate BiK incentive. A massive 21 percent of new business contract hire car registrations were BEVs, once again demonstrating that the company car sector is driving the transition to zero-emission motoring.”

Ian Osborne
Ian Osborne
Editor-in-Chief at ElectricDrives

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