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Electric car sales up 18% in February, half a million expected on the road by the year end

The latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show another boost in sales of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) with the number on the road expected to be close to half a million units by the end of the year.

There was growth in all sectors except executive and luxury saloon cars, in which sales fell by -15.4% and -6.3% respectively. The best performing segments were Minis: up 66.%, MPVs: up 41.9% and superminis: up 37.7%.

Year-on-year fluctuations in February sales:

  • Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) +40.0%
  • Petrol +35.8%
  • Battery electric vehicles + 18.2%
  • Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) +1.0%
  • Diesel -7.0%

Referencing the forthcoming budget, the report suggests: ‘This should include a long-term plan for chargepoint investment, aligning VAT on public charging with domestic energy use, and reviewing the Vehicle Excise Duty premium that will unfairly penalise EV buyers switching to this inevitably more expensive technology in the future.’

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: ‘After seven months of growth, it is no surprise that the UK automotive sector is facing the future with growing confidence. It is vital, however, that government takes every opportunity to back the market, which plays a significant role in Britain’s economy and net zero ambition. As we move into ‘new plate month’ in March, with more of the latest high-tech cars available, the upcoming Budget must deliver measures that drive this transition, increasing affordability and ease of charging for all.’

A separate report on the February van market, found that while the sector grew by 8%, sales of  battery electric vans were down 44.5% to 966 units, but it added that growth is expected to resume in coming months with a tranche of new models about to come to market. It is predicted that electrified van registrations will rise by 64.5% to around 28,000 units this year.

It was recently claimed that the shortage of EVs in the second-hand market could cost UK motorists up to £9bn in savings over ten years.

Image: Crosby Hinze

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