Sales of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have remained high following a year of significant growth, with sales in March jumping 88.2% year-on-year.
The month saw the sale of 22,003 BEVs, up from 11,694 the year before according to new figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). This represents a tripling of sales in comparison to March 2019, with BEVs scooping up 4.6% of the total market share in March 2020 and 7.7% in 2021.
These figures come as the new car market begins to recover from the impact of COVID-19, recording its first growth since August 2020, with 29,280 more units registered during March compared to the same month last year.
Plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) also had a strong month, recording a 152.2% increase to 17,330 sales- its highest volume ever.
Together, BEVs and PHEVs took a combined market share of 13.9%, up from 7.3% last year as the number of models available to customers increased from 72 to 116.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said that new plug-in models are “helping drive a recovery” but warned that for more drivers to make the switch the it must be convenient and the charging infrastructure must be “where they need it, and when they need it”.
Across the entirety of 2020, sales of BEVs grew by 185.9%, with 108,205 cars sold in the year. December was a particularly strong month, recording a 343.7% increase compared to the year prior, as was April 2020 when BEVs outsold all fuel types except petrol cars.
This year has also seen strong figures, with sales of BEVs in January up 54.4% compared to 2020, coming in at 6,260 compared to 4,054.