BEV account for one in six UK car registrations in February

The British Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) released the latest car registration data throughout February. Traditionally a quiet month ahead of the March plate change, plug-in cars took an impressive share.

February marked the seventh month of consecutive growth overall, which the SMMT puts down to easing supply chain shortages. Deliveries to private buyers were up 5.8%, and those to large fleets were up 46.2%.

As for fuel types, hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) recorded the most significant growth of all fuel types, up 40.0%. Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) rose 1.0%, and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) posted another strong month, up 18.2% to account for one in six new UK car registrations. In numbers, the UK saw 12,310 all-electric cars registered, alongside 4,723 PHEV and 9,633 HEV.

Taken together, plug-in hybrid vehicles and battery-electric cars accounted for nearly a quarter of the market (22.8%) among the total 74,441 new cars joining Britain’s roads last months.

The SMMT anticipates further growth, with nearly half a million (488,000) PHEVs and BEVs expected to join Britain’s roads in 2023 as manufacturers bring more than 40 new plug-in electric models to the market. This will inevitably increase demand for charging infrastructure, writes the Association. While the new £56 million LEVI capability funding is welcome, “there remains a clear requirement for binding targets that ensure chargepoint rollout keeps pace,” so SMMT.

With the Spring Budget due, the SMMT considers this an “important opportunity” and calls for a long-term plan for chargepoint investment, aligning VAT on public charging with domestic energy use, and reviewing the Vehicle Excise Duty premium that will unfairly penalise EV buyers switching to this inevitably more expensive technology in the future.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said it was “vital that government takes every opportunity to back the market, which plays a significant role in Britain’s economy and net zero ambition. As we move into ‘new plate month’ in March, with more of the latest high-tech cars available, the upcoming Budget must deliver measures that drive this transition, increasing affordability and ease of charging for all.”

There has also been news from London where LEVC (London Electric Vehicle Company) says there are more TX electric taxis on the streets of the capital than diesel TX4s. The company’s range-extended taxis now represent more than 40% of official black cabs, with over 6,000 electrified vehicles operating in London, according to LEVC.

Alex Nan, CEO of LEVC, commented: “We are witnessing a significant tipping point in the push towards cleaner transportation, with the TX overtaking the diesel-powered TX4 as the cab of choice in London. There are now more than 6,000 TX electric taxis operating in the capital, accounting for over 40% of the black cab fleet.”, LEVC info via email


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