According to the latest figures released from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), car sales were up an incredible 674.1 percent in May 2021 compared to the same month last year. That said, this figure represents a minus -14.7 percent drop compared to May 2019. The one area of the motor trade that has remained strong is that of plug-in electric vehicles.
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) sold well during May 2021 with 9,885 units compared to 827 in 2020. This represents an increase of 1,091.7 percent year-on-year. So far this year PHEVs have sold 46,068 units compared to 14,667 for the same period in 2021. This represents a 214.1 percent increase.
Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) also had a good month of sales increasing 1,903.1 percent in 2021. Sales in May 2020 were 647 and these increased to 13,000 in 2021. So far this year HEVs have sold 56,397 units compared to 29,004 for the same period in 2020. This represents a 94.4 percent increase.
Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) sales during May 2021 were 13,120 units compared to 2,424 in 2020. This represents an impressive 441.3 percent increase year-on-year.
These figures are also better than last month (April, 2021) where BEV sales were 9,152 units. The increase is probably down to more dealerships being open. So far this year BEV sales are 54,051 compared to 22,054 for the same period in 2020.
For us, these totally zero-emissions BEV figures are the most impressive. Looking broadly across 2021, plug-in vehicles now represent 13.8 percent of new car registrations. This is up from 7.2 percent a year earlier. This is all great to see as more people get switched on to smarter driving.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “With dealerships back open and a brighter, sunnier, economic outlook, May’s registrations are as good as could reasonably be expected.
“Demand for electrified vehicles is helping encourage people into showrooms, but for these technologies to surpass their fossil-fuelled equivalents, a long term strategy for market transition and infrastructure investment is required.”