Record month for EV sales

Electric vehicle registrations had another record braking month in March, this time seeing more cars eligible for the UK Government's Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG) sold than ever before. March's total of 7,144 PiCG eligible cars smashes the previous best monthly total of 6,104, set in March 2015.

The record sales again took almost 1.4 per cent of total UK car registrations - at 1.37 per cent - and sees the 1.3 per cent ratio reached or exceeded for the last five consecutive months. This is according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

This strong take up of PiCG eligible cars comes in a record month for UK registrations with more than half a million cars sold. The total of 518,707 is the largest monthly sales figure since the change to the bi-annual number plate change in 1999.

Pure electric vehicles (EVs) saw something of a renaissance in March, having dropped behind plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) sales in recent times. Last month's registrations saw 2,341 EVs sold, up 22.9 per cent on last year's figure. PHEVs still saw solid growth but increased 14.1 per cent to 4,803 units in March.

The stronger increase in EV sales was expected after changes to the PiCG came into effect from 1st March. Beforehand, all plug-in cars eligible for the grant had £5,000 taken off the list price, where now there is a stronger incentive for EVs over PHEVs. Both had a cut in grants available but EV buyers now get £4,500 off the cost of a vehicle, where PHEVs are only eligible for £2,500.

SMMT figures also show that there have now been 58,186 PiCG eligible cars registered since the grant began in January 2011, with just under 10,500 of those coming in 2016. This sees a 22.7 per cent increase in year-to-date registrations for PiCG cars when compared to 2015's statistics, compared to the the 5.1 increase for overall sales.

March 2016 EV registrations

Table courtesy of SMMT

Chris Lilly

Author:Chris Lilly
Date Updated:7th Apr 2016

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