Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) sales have once again seen a significant increase, with a jump of 441.3% recorded last month when compared to May 2020.
The latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that 13,120 BEVs were registered in May 2021 compared to 2,424 the same month a year prior.
However, despite the jump in sales, BEVs held only 8.4% of the market in May 2021 compared to 12% in 2020. The SMMT suggested this was partly due to the May 2020 performance being distorted by the COVID-19 lockdowns as new cars could only be purchased through click and collect or delivery, giving rise to variable purchasing patterns.
The lockdowns also had a marked effect on petrol and diesel sales, plummeting -97.3% in April 2020 to allow for BEVs to scoop a 31.8% share of the market.
Looking at 2021 as a whole, 54,051 BEVs have been sold compared to 22,054 in the same period in 2020, representing a 145.1% change and 7.5% of the market compared to 4.3% in 2020.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: "Demand for electrified vehicles is helping encourage people into showrooms, but for these technologies to surpass their fossil-fuelled equivalents, a long term strategy for market transition and infrastructure investment is required."
The SMMT figures come on the same day as separate statistics looking into electric vehicle (EV) sales were released from New AutoMotive, which instead found that there were 11,769 sales of BEVs in May 2021 compared to 2,224 in May 2020. This puts the market share at 8.36% compared to 12.29% for May 2020.
Tesla led sales in the month, with 1,648 purchases, followed by Volkswagen with 1,560 and Hyundai with 1,065.
When it comes to the percentage of a manufacturer's total registrations, however, Porsche held the top spot, with 37% of all new Porsches being fully electric. Other brands to have solid sales were Renault, Hyundai and Nissan, with 26%, 19% and 16% of their new car sales being fully electric.
Meanwhile, geographically, New Automotive found sales of new EVs are growing fastest in North East England and Oxfordshire where sales have jumped from 4% of the market to 11% and from 8% to 19% in the last year respectively.
In May, it was announced that Oxford will be the home of Europe's most powerful EV charging hub, with a range of 300kW, 250kW, 7kW and 22kW chargers to be installed at the site, which is the first of 40 such Superhubs to be created by Pivot Power.