UK electric and hybrid sales surge – but petrol still popular


UK sales of electric vehicles (EVs) surged in August, to a record 3.4% of market share, according to the latest figures from Britain’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Zero-emission vehicles saw the biggest growth, reported Energy Live News, rising by 3,147 units – representing a 377.5% increase.

By contrast, plug-in hybrid vehicles dropped by 71.8%, a total of just 907 vehicles, with sales of hybrid vehicles falling by 36%.

According to the SMMT’s report, consumer choice in the UK is broad, with approximately 27 hybrid models, 27 plug-in hybrid, and 24 battery electric or hydrogen models on the market.

In terms of conventionally-powered vehicles, figures are less encouraging, with the proportion of petrol-fuelled vehicles remaining stable. Registrations of diesel vehicles continued to fall, but at a slower pace than in previous months.

Chief Executive Mike Hawes adds: “August is typically the new car market’s quietest month so the huge increase in EV registrations is very visible but especially welcome. It’s great to see consumers respond to the massive industry investment made over many years.

“While this is encouraging, these figures also show the scale of the challenge ahead. It’s a long road to zero and while manufacturers can deliver the technology, they can’t dictate the pace of uptake.

“To support a smooth transition and deliver environmental gains now, we need a long term government commitment to measures that give consumers confidence to invest in the latest technologies that best suit their needs.”