The UK ruled as Europe’s top electric car market in Q1 2024

  • UK leads Q1 in BEV registrations across Europe.
  • EU market sees 10% rise in BEV registrations, reaching 15.5% penetration.
  • UK market primed for growth in 2024 with zero-emission-vehicle mandate, driving potential price drops and financing deals.

UK leads the charge in Europe’s pure electric passenger car market in Q1 2024

In Q1, the UK outpaced every other European market in new BEV passenger car registrations, as per the latest data from Schmidt Automotive Research’s European Electric Car Study.

The European region comprises the 27 EU member states alongside EFTA markets like Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, and the UK.

- Advertisement -

In the UK, the biannual surge in March license plate registrations propelled 84,314 new BEV passenger cars onto the roads between January and March, marking a solid 10% increase from the previous year. This surge pushed BEV new car penetration to 15.5% of the overall market, a 0.1 percentage point rise compared to the same period last year.

Germany, traditionally a top market, slipped to second place with 81,337 new BEV units, experiencing a 14.1% year-on-year decline. This drop can be attributed mainly to the withdrawal of government-supplied purchase subsidies since the beginning of the year. Meanwhile, France followed closely with 79,823 new BEVs. France’s performance was bolstered by the launch of a state-backed social-leasing scheme, aiming to assist 50,000 low-income households in accessing pure electric vehicles this year. This initiative offers monthly lease rates below €100.

Looking ahead, the UK market is poised for a substantial boost in 2024, driven by the introduction of the zero-emission-vehicle mandate. This landmark policy mandates manufacturers to register 22% of their fleet as ZEVs. While not all manufacturers are expected to meet this requirement, the potential for growth is undeniable. Many manufacturers may need to further reduce prices to ensure compliance and avoid hefty fines. However, discounting through appealing financing deals is expected to mitigate any negative impacts on residuals, maintaining some market stability.

Related Articles