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BEV sales record monthly drop despite massive 566.1% year-on-year surge

Image: Getty.

Image: Getty.

Sales of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have soared since April 2020, with a 566.1% increase recorded.

This was achieved through the sale of 9,152 BEVs compared to the 1,374 sold the same month a year before, according to new figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

It comes after BEVs captured a market share of 31.8% in April 2020 as the new car market saw sales plummet -97.3% as a result of the first COVID-19 lockdown, with only 4,321 new cars registered.

However, as the overall new car market also resurges - with an artificial 30-fold increase recorded in April 2021 - the market share held by BEVs has dropped to 6.5%.

In April 2021, monthly BEV sales were down compared with Q1 2021 overall, having been running at 7.5% of total registrations. Additionally, plug-in hybrids – which usually fall behind BEV sales – were more popular than BEVs at 6.8% of the market, following cuts to the Plug-in Car Grant.

BEVs are now expected to account for 8.9% of registrations by year-end, down from the 9.3% initially forecast in January.

This year to date, there has been 40,931 sales of BEVs compared to 19,630 across the same time period in 2020, representing a 108.5% increase. The market share has also increased across the year to date, with BEVs scooping 7.2% compared to 4% 2020.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said that as showrooms reopen and consumers are able to test drive the latest, cleanest models "market confidence is improving", and that this confidence "should also translate into another record year for electric vehicles, which will likely account for more than one in seven new car registrations".

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