Electric vehicle registrations up nearly 150% in UK despite stalling new car market

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The UK’s new car market is suffering at the hands of Covid-19 with the latest figures showing that car registrations in October fell by 1.6% year-on-year to 140,945, which is a nine-year low. Yet, despite this, new electrified vehicles continue to encouragingly outperform the market with an increase of 144%.

This rise equates to 50,300 new car registrations made up of BEV, PHEV, HEV, and MHEV sales, and now means alternative-fueled vehicles take a 35.7% market share, more than double diesel’s 14.9%, and catching up to petrol’s 49.5%.

The rise of AFV sales could be the result of more people working from home having shorter journeys, or the rise in OEMs releasing more electrified models to give consumers more choice to buy-in, as they now view EVs as a more mature technology and viable option.

The downturn in the overall market is due to the introduction of a ‘firebreak’ lockdown in Wales on 23 October contributing to the nation recording -25.5% fewer registrations by the end of the month, which accounted for more than half of the overall UK decline.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the announcement of a second lockdown for England from November, which will include the closure of vehicle showrooms, the market forecast has been downgraded by a further 100,000 units to 1.56 million. This equates to a total year-on-year decline of around 750,000 registrations and a £22.5 billion loss in turnover, with 2020 now likely to be the weakest year since 1982.


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