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One in six new cars sold in UK are battery electric vehicles

Published June 21, 2023

One in six new cars sold in UK are battery electric vehicles

Battery electric vehicles now make up nearly 17% of all vehicles sold in the UK, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

A further 24,513 battery electric vehicles joined the road during May, up 58.7% on last year to secure a 16.9% market share. Battery electric vehicles are now the UK’s second most popular power train.

Overall registrations grew 16.7% to usher in the longest uninterrupted period of expansion for the market in eight years.  The figures for May show the UK new car market has grown for 10 consecutive months.

Although petrol-powered cars still account for 57.1% of all registrations, plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) now have a 6.2% market share and hybrids (HEVs) comprise 12.3% of all registrations.

Alfa Energy’s corporate affairs officer, Jeremy Nicholson, commented: “Who would have predicted even a year ago that one in six new cars sold in UK would be battery electric vehicles?  The stunning recent growth in BEV sales is all the more remarkable given well-publicised concerns about access to charging points, which will take some time to address. It looks like those with the money to do so – individuals and fleet buyers alike – are looking to future proof their purchases, mindful of regulations and taxes that will likely affect the cost of owning and operating combustion engine vehicles in the years ahead.”

There are now zero emission options available in every single segment of the market, with more than 80 models – around a quarter of all new car models available – from which to choose. Furthermore, these new BEVs have an average battery range of 236 miles, well in excess of UK drivers’ average weekly mileage of around 100 miles.