Electric vehicle market share hits record high

5th August 2019

Web carcharging istock 884223942 copy

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Energy ,
  • Technology ,
  • Transport


Gillian Roberts

Fully electric vehicles accounted for a record proportion of new car sales in the UK last month after registrations more than trebled in comparison to the same period last year.

That is according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which shows that there were 2,271 battery electric vehicle (BEW) sales last month, up 158% year-on-year.

This represents a record 1.4% of the new car market, and the SMMT expects this to rise to 2.2% next year as manufacturers continue to invest heavily in low-emission vehicles.

The figures also show that new hybrid electric car registrations increased by 34.2% last month compared to the previous July, while mild hybrid electric vehicle sales shot up by a whopping 337%.

This is in stark contrast to the car industry as a whole, with new registrations down 4.1% to 157,198 – the lowest July figure recorded since 2012.

“Despite yet another month of decline in the new car market, it's encouraging to see substantial growth in zero emission vehicles,“ SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes, said.

“Thanks to manufacturers' investment in these new technologies over many years, these cars are coming to market in greater numbers than ever before.“

The SMMT said that British drivers now have the choice of advanced low-emission petrol and diesel vehicles, and a greater number of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery-electric and hydrogen cars.

There are currently more than 350 models available in the UK – around 80 of which are alternatively fuelled, including 21 battery electric, and more are expected to arrive in showrooms later this year.

However, sales of new plug-in hybrid electric vehicles were down by 49.6% last month compared to the previous July, and Hawes warned that the government must do more to encourage motorists to buy cleaner cars.

“If the UK is to meet its environmental ambitions, government must create the right conditions to drive uptake, including long-term incentives and investment in infrastructure,“ he continued.

“The fastest way to address air quality concerns is through fleet renewal so buyers need to be given the confidence to invest in the new, cleaner vehicles that best suit their driving needs, regardless of how they are powered.“

Image credit: ©iStock


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

Weather damage insurance claims hit record high

Weather-related damage to homes and businesses saw insurance claims hit a record high in the UK last year following a succession of storms.

18th April 2024

Read more

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has issued a statement clarifying that no changes have been made to its stance on offsetting scope 3 emissions following a backlash.

16th April 2024

Read more

One of the world’s most influential management thinkers, Andrew Winston sees many reasons for hope as pessimism looms large in sustainability. Huw Morris reports

4th April 2024

Read more

Vanessa Champion reveals how biophilic design can help you meet your environmental, social and governance goals

4th April 2024

Read more

Alex Veitch from the British Chambers of Commerce and IEMA’s Ben Goodwin discuss with Chris Seekings how to unlock the potential of UK businesses

4th April 2024

Read more

A project promoter’s perspective on the environmental challenges facing new subsea power cables

3rd April 2024

Read more

Senior consultant, EcoAct

3rd April 2024

Read more

Around 20% of the plastic recycled is polypropylene, but the diversity of products it protects has prevented safe reprocessing back into food packaging. Until now. David Burrows reports

3rd April 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close