New data has emerged stating that the number of electric vehicle registrations in the UK doubled in March, 2021, likely the result of the government’s plan to phase out the internal combustion engine.
In spite of the fact that the number of car purchases overall in the UK dipped due to the pandemic, the UK saw a 6.6% increase in the number of electric vehicle registrations in March.
Sales of pure electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid models made up more than 13.9% of overall vehicle sales in the UK, meaning that figure has nearly doubled in a 12-month period, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The SMMT says that registrations of battery electric vehicles increased by 88.2% to 22,003 vehicles, while plug-in hybrid vehicle sales jumped by 152.2% to 17,330.
Hybrid electric vehicle sales also increased by 42% to 21,599 vehicle registrations in 2021.
The share of pure electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles sold in March now amounts to 19.3% and 21.5% respectively, with petrol-powered vehicles still dominating sales with a 48.4% market share.
Overall, new vehicle registrations are down more than 36% from the ten-year rolling average, signifying just how hard the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the public, and in turn, vehicle manufacturers.
The gravitation toward electric vehicles has no doubt been influenced by the UK government’s move to phase out sales of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, as it plans to roll out the government’s new green industrial revolution plan.
Another dataset from the SMMT shows that the UK’s production of internal combustion engines dropped a staggering 20.5% in February, with overall production for 2021 down more than 25%.
Chief Executive at the SMMT, Mike Hawes has said that “the past year has been the toughest in modern history and the automotive sector has, like many others, been hit hard.”
“With the majority of our engines exported, we need to see global markets on the road to recovery before UK manufacturers can look forward with confidence,” he said.
In reference to the latest batch of EV statistics being published, Hawes added that “we know we will see record breaking growth next month given April 2020 was a washout, but a strong, sustainable market is possible if customers respond to the choice and competitive offers the industry provides within the safest of showroom environments.”
“New plug-in models are already helping to drive a recovery but to convince more retail consumers to make the switch, they must be assured these new technologies will be convenient for their driving needs and that means, above all, that the charging infrastructure is there where they need it, and when they need it,” Hawes concluded.