More plug-in vehicles sold in 2021 that during entire previous decade

Published:  04 November, 2021

More plug-in vehicles will hit the road in 2021 than during all of of the preceding decade, according to a forecast from the SMMT, even with overall new car sales around 30% down compared with the average for the period 2010-2019.

271,962 new battery electric (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) were registered in the UK between 2010 and 2019. The organisation’s latest estimate projects that around 287,000 of the these vehicles will have been sold by the end of the year, equating to one in six new cars. Looking further ahead, BEV registrations are expected to surpass diesel vehicle sales by the end of 2022.

Plug-in vehicle sales shot up during 2020, as choice widened. More than a quarter of all car models available in the UK can now be plugged in.

SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said: “As Britain hosts COP26 and seeks to align the world in committing to achieving net zero and limiting the global average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, our latest outlook shows the UK experiencing a surge in plug-in vehicle uptake. Massive investment by industry as well as long standing government incentives have seen us go from just 188 new plug-in cars in 2010, to almost 300,000 in 2021.

“To achieve net zero by the desired date, however, uptake rates must continue to grow. This requires ongoing incentives to help consumers make the switch and significant investment in public charging infrastructure. Backed by the ingenuity and innovation of the automotive sector, we can then deliver zero-emission mobility that is accessible and affordable for all.”

The UK already intends to be the first major automotive market to end the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars by 2030.

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