A new battery electric vehicle was registered every 60 seconds last month as demand for EVs continued to grow, according to figures from the SMMT.
The new car market grew 28.3% in July with 143,921 new vehicles registered, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). As a result, the market has enjoyed non-stop growth for a full year despite challenging economic conditions, as supply chain challenges ease, production increases and deliveries can be fulfilled.
This was the best July performance since 2020, when pent-up demand for new cars was unleashed following three months of lockdown during the pandemic. Despite this continuous growth, however, the overall market year to date remains behind pre-pandemic levels.
Company registrations drove the growth, as uptake by large fleets increased 61.9% to 80,961 units and business registrations rose 28.7% to 2,915 new vehicles. Private demand remained stable at 60,045 units (up 0.3%).
Electrified vehicles accounted for more than a third (35.4% of the market). Hybrid (HEV) volumes grew, although their overall market share fell to 11.3%. Plug-in hybrid (PHEV) registrations saw a significant uplift for the second month in a row as uptake rose 79.1% to account for 8.1% of the market. The biggest increase, however, was for battery electric vehicles (BEVs), which recorded an 87.9% increase to account for 16.0% of all new registrations for the month, a market share broadly consistent with that seen so far this year.
The demand for battery electric cars was such that a new one was registered every 60 seconds in the month. Furthermore, according to the latest market outlook published today, this will accelerate to one every 50 seconds by the end of the year, and up to one every 40 seconds by the end of 2024.
There were positive signs on this over the last quarter, as a record high of 3,056 new standard public chargers were installed. This was equal to one new charger for every 35 new plug-in vehicles registered, a significant improvement on the same quarter last year, when the ratio was one for every 58 cars.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “The industry remains committed to meeting the UK’s zero emission deadlines and continues to make the investments to get us there. Choice and innovation in the market are growing, so it’s encouraging to see more people switching on to the benefits of driving electric. With inflation, rising costs of living and a zero emission vehicle mandate that will dictate the market coming next year, however, consumers must be given every possible incentive to buy. Government must pull every lever, therefore, to make buying, running and, especially, charging an EV affordable and practical for every driver in every part of the country.”