ZERO emission vehicle uptake continues to grow, with newly registered battery electric vehicles (BEVs) up 34.2% to represent more than one in five new cars (20.5%) – the largest monthly share of BEVs this year.
The UK new car market grew 23.5% in November to 142,889 registered units in the fourth consecutive month of year-on-year growth, according to new figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The growth delivered the best total for November since 2019, with manufacturers continuing efforts to fulfil orders amid erratic global components supply. However, registrations in the month were still 8.8% below 2019 levels and, while further recovery is anticipated in 2023, global and domestic economic challenges mean that the market will remain below pre-pandemic levels.
Plug-in hybrid (PHEVs) registrations fell by 5.8%, making up 7.1% of the market. As a result, some 39,558 new plug-ins were registered, representing more than one in four (27.7%) new cars joining UK roads in November. Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), meanwhile, rose by 66.9% to 11.3% of the market, driven particularly by fleet operators looking for flexibility and emissions reductions.
As growth returns to the new car market, the car sector is poised to deliver an additional £8 billion for the UK economy in 2023, with an anticipated 15.4% market growth. UK Automotive is making rapid strides to deliver on its net zero targets, and further acceleration requires forward-thinking planning and collaboration from all stakeholders.
Measures that boost motorists’ confidence in EVs, including a fiscal framework that encourages EV adoption and targets to speed up the provision of charging infrastructure, will help to ensure uptake is in line with the UK’s green goals, particularly as the ambitious Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate comes into effect.
Kim Royds, EV Director at British Gas, said: “Despite ongoing supply chain challenges, the accelerated growth of electric vehicles continues to dominate the new car market – reaffirming the appetite among drivers to transition away from traditional petrol or diesel vehicles.
“However, there is still a great deal of work to be done to futureproof the UK’s charging network to meet the increased demand and ensure all motorists have access to reliable and convenient charge points. Providing compelling and easy options for home charging is a vital part of this and will help to stimulate further growth across the EV market.”
Jon Lawes, Managing Director, Novuna Vehicle Solutions: “It is encouraging to see that the new car market is still expanding, with battery electric vehicles (BEVs) capturing their largest monthly share of the new car market in 2022 last month.
“However, supply chain issues are now one of the most significant barriers to EV adoption. We’re seeing fewer than half the number of cars rolling off production lines than we did 5 years ago, owing primarily to ongoing issues obtaining computer chips for vehicles, which could severely dampen EV adoption in the coming months.
“While companies such as ours have taken steps to meet demand, such as purchasing vehicles up to 15 months in advance to ensure customers can get into new vehicles as soon as possible and extending lease agreements for those willing to wait, it’s clear that this isn’t the solution. To reduce these vulnerabilities and provide confidence to the sector, the government should consider developing a robust semiconductor industry in the UK.”
Meryem Brassington, electrification propositions lead at Lex Autolease said: “It has been a stellar year for the electric vehicle market, setting a new record for the pace at which people are making the transition to electric. The 29,372 EVs registered in November represent a 20.6% share of the new car market – another feather in the electrification cap as we continue along the Road to Zero.
“November also brought clarity from Government on company car tax rates beyond 2025, giving fleets the long-awaited certainty they need to commit to an electric future. However, with the introduction of VED for EVs, it’s important that the tax system continues to operate in a fair, emissions-based way if we are going to continue to clean up the older and more polluting vehicles on the UK’s roads.”