Electric car sales up by 185.9%

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reports that 2020 was a bumper year for battery and plug-in hybrid electric cars, which together accounted for more than one in 10 registrations – up from around one in 30 in 2019. Demand for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) grew by 185.9% to 108,205 units, while registrations of plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) rose 91.2% to 66,877.

Encouragingly, there is room for further growth as most of these registrations (68%) were for company cars, indicating that private buyers need stronger incentives to make the switch, as well as more investment in charging infrastructure, especially public on-street charging.

More than 100 plug-in car models are now available to UK buyers, and manufacturers are scheduled to bring more than 35 to market in 2021 – more than the number of either petrol or diesel new models planned for the year.

To increase uptake will require others to match the industry’s commitment to electrification and SMMT will continue to work with government on the detail of a strategy to deliver a successful, rapid transition that benefits all of society and safeguards automotive manufacturing with sufficient battery production capacity.

SMMT media release 6 January 2021

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