Low-emissions star in SMMT figures

Garages need to be aware of rising hybrid sales

Published:  21 January, 2016

Hybrid and electric vehicles have seen their biggest ever share of UK vehicle sales, with growth of over 40% year-on-year according to the latest SMMT figures.

In 2015, over 2.6 million vehicles were sold, another year of growth and only the fourth time since monitoring began that sales have risen above that threshold. Gains were reported across all fuel types, with petrol and diesel registrations up 8.4% and 3% respectively with equal market shares. Alternatively fuelled vehicle (AFV) demand, meanwhile, grew 40.3%, securing the biggest ever market share of 2.8% for a year. Plug-in hybrids experienced phenomenal growth, with volumes more than doubling, while pure electric vehicles saw an uplift of around 50%.

In total, 72,775 AFVs were sold, of which 28,188 were electric and plug-in hybrids. The number highlights the British public’s shift towards zero and low-emission vehicles and the need for technicians to begin training in their repair. According to the IMI, only 1,000 technicians are Level 3 trained to deal with the technology with just another 1,000 currently studying to be qualified by 2018, making up 1% of the industry workforce.

Writing in the February 2016 issue of Aftermarket, due out on January 27th, Editor Phil Curry comments: “It is absolutely staggering that there are so few garages prepared to service them. The UK public want hybrids and electrics, they see them as eco-friendly or more likely cheaper to run.  Obviously dealerships that sell hybrids will be in a better position to service them, yet with so many on the road, and so many older ones, do you really want to turn them away?”

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