EVs drive new car market growth

The UK new car market grew for the sixth month in a row in January, with 131,994 units representing the best start to the year since Covid-19 struck.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the surge was driven by electrified vehicles with one in five new vehicles registered including a battery.

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) comprised 14.4% of new car registrations, increasing volumes by 40.6%, while battery electric vehicle (BEV) registrations rose 19.8% to reach 17,294 units, or 13.1% of new registrations. Plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) recorded a 0.7% rise, although their share fell to 6.9% of new cars reaching the road.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The automotive industry is already delivering growth that bucks the national trend and is poised, with the right framework, to accelerate the decarbonisation of the UK economy. The industry and market are in transition, but fragile due to a challenging economic outlook, rising living costs and consumer anxiety over new technology. We look to a Budget that will reaffirm the commitment to net zero and provide measures that drive green growth for the sector and the nation.”

Following these figures, the latest market outlook anticipates 1.79 million new car registrations in 2023, an 11.1% increase on the past year, with 1.96 million new cars expected to join the road in 2024.