EV Sales Have Doubled Year-On-Year, And it’s Largely Thanks To Fleets
EV sales have doubled year-on-year in the UK, and it’s largely thanks to fleets taking advantage of new company car tax rates…
EV Sales Double In The UK
Twice as many electric vehicles (EVs) were registered in the UK in 2020 than in 2019. According to data compiled by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) some 200,000 all-electric vehicles have been registered in the country since 2010. Back in December, 21,914 battery electric vehicles were registered; the highest monthly figure ever recorded. Some 108,205 BEVs sold in 2020 and, notably, this caused them to shoot past the 66,879 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles registered in the same year.
Rod Dennis, a spokesman for the RAC, welcomed the trajectory. However, he emphasised that the sales figures represented a “tiny fraction” of the 31.2 million cars on the UK’s roads. He said, “the sight of more electric vehicles on our roads, many sporting number plates with the new ‘trademark’ green flash, might begin to make drivers who are considering changing their car look into whether ‘going electric’ makes sense for them”. He added, “issues around charging infrastructure aside, it’s the cold hard economics of buying or leasing a car that might yet hold them back. With pure electric cars continuing to command a premium list price over their petrol and diesel equivalents”.
Fleets are Leading the Way
Fleets are largely responsible for the increase in EV sales. Some 68% of BEV and PHEV registrations were attributable to fleet purchases. This is largely due to new benefit-in-kind tax rates introduced by the government last spring. Gerry Keaney, chief executive of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), described 2020 as a “tipping point” for electric vehicles. He explained, “the latest BVRLA data shows that the fleet sector continues to lead the charge towards zero emission motoring. With battery electric vehicles responsible for 21% of company car registrations in the three months to October 2020″.
Whilst electric vehicles still represent a small segment in the UK’s car industry, they’re nevertheless growing at a pace. According to sales figures, 6.6% of all car registrations were zero-emission in 2020. For perspective, that’s up from 1.6% in 2019 and just 0.7% in 2018. As of now, British drivers can choose from more than 100 plug-in vehicles. An additional 35 models are expected over the course of 2021; that’s more than the upcoming diesel and petrol offerings combined.
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