Battery electric cars achieve highest market share since December

By Staff
5 Min Read

The UK new car market has reached a milestone, registering over one million units in the first half of 2024, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

This is the first time since 2019 that this milestone has been achieved.

New car registrations in June increased by 1.1%, totalling 179,263 units.

Despite the overall market growth, private retail demand has continued to decline, with a 15.3% drop in June, marking the ninth consecutive month of falling demand.

Fleet sector registrations rose by 14.2%, accounting for a portion of the market’s growth. Retail buyers now represent fewer than four in ten new car registrations, at 37.7%.

The market for electrified vehicles has seen growth.

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) saw increases of 30.0% and 27.2% respectively, outpacing the growth of battery electric vehicles (BEVs), which rose by 7.4%.

BEVs achieved their highest monthly market share since December 2023, making up 19.0% of new registrations.

Year to date, BEVs constitute 16.6% of the market, remaining stable compared to last year.

The transition to zero emission vehicles is reliant on the fleet sector, as private consumer uptake has weakened.

Private BEV registrations have decreased by 10.8% so far this year, with fewer than one in five new BEVs sold to private buyers.

As the UK approaches a general election, the automotive industry is calling on the incoming government to support consumers in the shift to zero emission vehicles.

Proposals include halving VAT on BEVs for three years, which could add 300,000 private BEVs to the roads over the next three years.

This initiative aims to ensure that by 2035, half of all cars in use will be zero emission, reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Revisions to Vehicle Excise Duty have also been suggested to classify zero emission vehicles as essential rather than luxury items.

Additionally, reducing VAT on public charge point use from 20% to 5%, aligning it with home charging rates, could further encourage ZEV uptake.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “The year’s midpoint sees the new car market in its best state since 2021 – but this belies the bigger challenge ahead.

“The private consumer market continues to shrink against a difficult economic backdrop, but with the right policies in place, the next government can re-energise the market and deliver a faster, fairer zero emission transition.

“All parties are agreed on the need to cut carbon and replacing older fossil fuel based technologies with new electrified powertrains is the essential step to achieving that goal.”

Kim Royds, Mobility Director at Centrica, said: “It’s really encouraging to see a continued steady growth in electric vehicle adoption – bucking the usual trend of a dip in car registrations during the summer months.

“Consumer confidence in switching away from petrol and diesel clearly continues to rise.

“The imbalance of public and domestic charging networks remains a stubborn barrier to wider adoption though.

“If the UK is to work towards fully electrified roads, we must ensure all drivers – with or without driveway access – can enjoy the financial and practical benefits of charging either at home or in public.”

Copyright © 2024 Energy Live News LtdELN

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