Friday 5 January 2024

UK sees surge in BEV registrations

UK sees surge in BEV registrations

In 2023, new car registrations in the UK reached 1.903 million, indicating a notable increase of 17.9%, attributed to accelerated fleet investment.

Although battery electric vehicle (BEV) volumes achieved a record high, the market share slightly decreased to 16.5%.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reported that the UK's new car market had its best year since the pandemic, with a robust December contributing to the 17th consecutive month of growth.

The transition away from fossil fuels prompted significant investments in low and zero emission vehicles, leading to a -2.2% decrease in the average new car carbon dioxide emissions, settling at 108.9 g/km.

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) experienced growth, rising by 27.1% and securing a 12.6% market share.

Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) also performed well, with a 39.3% increase in registrations, accounting for 7.4% of the market.

BEV uptake reached a record volume, with 314,687 new registrations, marking an increase of almost 50,000 units.

However, BEV volumes experienced a -34.2% decline in the last month of the year, reflecting the unusual circumstances of December 2022 when a significant number of orders were fulfilled.

In 2023, BEVs constituted one-in-six new cars registered, primarily favoured by business and fleet buyers benefiting from tax incentives.

In contrast, only one-in-eleven private buyers chose a BEV.

The absence of consumer BEV purchase incentives since the end of the Plug-in Car Grant in June 2022 makes the UK the only major European market with no such incentives but has mandated minimum targets for new Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) registrations.

With mainstream consumer demand remaining stagnant, the industry advocates for government support by halving VAT on new BEVs for three years.

This temporary cut aims to provide private consumers with fiscal support comparable to that enjoyed by business buyers, fostering increased EV uptake and accelerating the UK's market transition.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: "The government has challenged the UK automotive sector with the world’s boldest transition timeline and is investing to ensure we are a major maker of electric vehicles.

"It must now help all drivers buy into this future, with consumer incentives that will make the UK the leading European market for ZEVs."

Kim Royds at British Gas, said: "Another rise in EV registrations is a bright light in what was otherwise a challenging new car market in 2023.

"A record number of EV’s on the road is a feather in the cap when it comes to accelerating the UK’s transition to net zero, but there is more to be done, especially in light of the delayed ICE vehicle sales ban, now pushed back to 2035.

"To ensure the transition to EVs is as smooth as possible, it's important we rapidly build the country’s network of charging infrastructure. Access to publicly available fast charging points and expanding roadside charging infrastructure will be vital to ensure no one is excluded from EV ownership."

Written by

Sumit Bose

Trending Articles