Electric car sales in August accounted for one in seven of new cars registered, according to new data from New Automotive.
While internal combustion engines (ICE) registrations have maintained steady in August, the electric vehicle (EVs) market continues to grow. It accounted for 14.48% of the market with 8,926 EVs registered in August, an increase of more than 2,000 on August 2021.
More motorists are looking to reap benefits of owning an EV amid the rising cost of living, and while hybrid sales continue to fall, EVs have grown at the expense of that market as more customers opt for a fully electric car instead of an hybrid.
“As the cost of living crisis worsens, UK motorists continue to turn towards cheaper-to-run electric vehicles,” said Ben Nelmes, co-founder and head of policy at New Automotive.
“Even with the increase in the Ofgem price cap for electricity in October, EVs will continue to offer running cost savings compared to ICE models.”
In July, total sales of electric cars in 2022 had already passed totals for the entirety of 2020, despite July being the first full month since government scrapped its plug-in car grant on 14 June.
July however saw a drop in sales of hybrid vehicles to 27,724, a trend that has continued in August with 14,677 hybrids sold, although this was only 2,000 down from August 2021.
“The new Prime Minister and Transport Secretary should make EVs a key part of their response to the cost of living crisis,” continued Nelmes.
“The new government should consider incentives for leasing new and second hand electric vehicles and interest-free finance to help the most car-dependent families get access to the benefits of going electric.”
Among mass market brands, BMW had a strong increase in electric models sold accounting for over 25% of their total sales, when last year only one in 20 BMW sold was fully electric.
The German carmaker also takes the top spot in terms of market share in the EV sector with 11.4% and ended up above Tesla and Volkswagen in the podium.
The shake up in this ranking could have been caused by supply chain disruptions that have affected some manufacturers.
“Despite ongoing material and vehicle supply issues, electric vehicle adoption levels continue to show no signs of slowing down as many more drivers realise the potential of making the switch to electric,” said Henry Duff, director of Net Zero at British Gas.
“While the continued growth is encouraging, we must ensure that the UK’s charging network is ready for drivers to access reliable, convenient and easy to operate charge points. Significant inroads have already been made to install charge points at work and leisure destinations, but the roll out of chargers closer to driver’s homes will unlock the potential for many more EVs being adopted.”
The number of public EV chargers continues to increase, as it climbed past 32,000 in July 2022, according from the Department of Transport’s latest data.
Meanwhile, data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shows that year-on-year car registrations in August have been stable, with a 1.2% increase.
So far yearly sales in 2022 are down 10.7% from 2021, according to its latest statistics.
Electric cars on the other hand continue to increase its numbers, with a 35.4% increase year-on-year and with 10,006 EV sold in August.
As the energy crisis is looming with the price increase in October, sales of EVs in September will be indicative of the industry’s capacity to recover and accelerate its transition to non-fossil fuel vehicles. A challenge that will be set for the next Prime Minister, Liz Truss.
“Spiralling energy costs and inflation on top of sustained supply chain challenges are piling even more pressure on the automotive industry’s post-pandemic recovery, and we urgently need the new Prime Minister to tackle these challenges and restore confidence and sustainable growth,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.
“With September traditionally a bumper time for new car uptake, the next month will be the true barometer of industry recovery as it accelerates the transition to zero emission mobility despite the myriad challenges.”
Current±’s publisher Solar Media is running the EV World Congress on 5 and 6 October at the Leonardo Royal Hotel Tower Bridge. To find out more and get your ticket, see here.