New data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has signalled that hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) saw their highest month of growth in 2023 in September.
HEV registrations came to 38,014 in September and thus accounted for 13.9% of all registrations, a 30.7% year-on-year (YoY) increase. This was a similar story for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) which saw an 18.9% and 50.9% YoY increase in registrations, respectively.
Despite this, it is important to note that BEVs actually saw a downward trend in its YoY market share, dropping to 16.6% in September from 16.9% in 2022. Private BEV registrations also fell by 14.3% with less than one in 10 private new car buyers opting for electric during the month.
SMMT stated that such a decline “underlines the importance of providing these motorists with purchase incentives and other mechanisms to stimulate demand”.
Interestingly, these drops were in the same month that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made several delays to UK decarbonisation targets including the sale of internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEs) to 2035.
Touching on this, SMMT stated that “despite an end of sale date now aligned with other major markets, the UK still has the most challenging zero emission vehicle (ZEV) transition timeline”.
The organisation outlined that achieving the ZEV mandate targets will depend on private buyers making the transition, along with business and fleet customers.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “A bumper September means the new car market remains strong despite economic challenges. However, with tougher EV targets for manufacturers coming into force next year, we need to accelerate the transition, encouraging all motorists to make the switch.
“This means adding carrots to the stick – creating private purchase incentives aligned with business benefits, equalising on-street charging VAT with off-street domestic rates and mandating chargepoint rollout in line with how electric vehicle sales are now to be dictated.
“The forthcoming Autumn Statement is the perfect opportunity to create the conditions that will deliver the zero-emission mobility essential to our shared net zero ambition.”
Current± publisher Solar Media is hosting its EV World Congress event in London this 10-11 October. The conference will focus on some of the key discussion points from across the EV sector including delivering coherent EV charging strategies, whether the UK is on course for its 2030 charging target, vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology and more. More information, including how to attend, can be read here.