EVs take largest share of new car sales

The UK new car market grew 23.5% in November to 142,889 registered units in the fourth consecutive month of year-on-year growth, with newly registered battery electric vehicles up 35.2% to represent more than one in five new cars.

New figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show the growth delivered the best total for November since 2019, with manufacturers continuing efforts to fulfil orders amid erratic global components supply.

The growth in zero emission vehicle sales of battery electric vehicles at 20.6% is the largest monthly share of BEVs this year, although plug-in hybrid registrations fell by 5.7%, making up 7.1% of the market.

The SMMT says measures that boost motorists’ confidence in EVs, including a fiscal framework that encourages EV adoption and targets to speed up the provision of charging infrastructure, will help to ensure uptake is in line with the UK’s green goals, particularly as the ambitious Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate comes into effect.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “Recovery for Britain’s new car market is back within our grasp, energised by electrified vehicles and the sector’s resilience in the face of supply and economic challenges. As the sector looks to ensure that growth is sustainable for the long term, urgent measures are required – not least a fair approach to driving EV adoption that recognises these vehicles remain more expensive, and measures to compel investment in a charging network that is built ahead of need. By doing so we can encourage consumer appetite across the country and accelerate the UK’s journey to net zero.”

Reacting to the news, RAC electric vehicle spokesman Simon Williams said: “These figures demonstrate the demand there is for plug-in vehicles, with pure electric sales in November now accounting for one-in-five vehicles as drivers look to the benefits of low-running costs given the eye-wateringly high fuel prices that have dominated 2022. 

“While the proportion of EVs registered last month was the highest of the year so far, we are concerned the rapid and ultra-rapid public charging network is not keeping pace with consumer appetite for zero-emission driving. It’s becoming clear the Government needs to turbocharge the network to ensure EV drivers aren’t let down when travelling long distances, either by a lack of chargers or by ones that aren’t working. This is emerging as one of the biggest EV issues as we are increasingly hearing reports from frustrated and annoyed drivers struggling to complete their longer journeys.”

(Picture – Yay Images)


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