EV registrations take record market share in November

The electric car market continues to go from strength to strength, taking a new record market share in November 2017 as diesel sales slump. Plug-in cars made up 2.4% of total UK registrations in last month, according to Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) figures.

With almost 4,000 units sold in November the market remains comparatively small, though it is increasing all the time. In contrast, despite diesel sales of 61,730 units, the market dropped 31% compared to November 2016.

November's figures now see more than 42,700 plug-in models registered for the 11-months of 2017, at an average of almost 3,900 a month. This compares favourably to 2016's average figure of 3,081 a month, with a total for the full 12-months just short of 37,000 registrations.

Plug-in Car Market - November 2017

The split between pure-EVs and PHEVs remained almost exactly the same as October 2017, with EV's accounting for 21% of total monthly plug-in registrations. More than 3,000 PHEVs were registered in November, compared to more than 800 pure-EVs.

Plug-in Car Grant eligible registrations were similarly stable, with less than 1.5% change compared to last month. November saw 95% of total plug-in cars sold eligible for the grant - which isn't available for those models that don't meet certain efficiency criteria (very few models affected) or that cost more than £60,000 (a more likely reason for not being eligible).

Total plug-in car registrations are up 59% compared to November 2016 and 26% year to date, with PiCG-eligible registrations increasing by 57% and 24% respectively.

SMMT November 2017 EV registrations

Table courtesy of SMMT

Despite the electric car market's steady growth, diesel sales have rapidly declined. The last time diesel sales saw any growth was in March, with a 2% increase compared to the previous year. Double-digit decline has been seen in every month since, and only June this year saw that figure in the teens - all other declines have been 20% or more.

November's 31% diesel drop has been compensated for in part by a 4% increase in petrol registrations, and a 58% increase in alternatively fuelled vehicle (AFV) sales - the latter including conventional hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and pure-electric vehicles. Despite increases in registrations for petrol and AFVs, the total UK car market fell 11% compared to November 2016.

Year to date sees a decline of 5% for the UK car market as a whole, with diesel accounting for much of that at -16%. Petrol registrations have increased 3% for the 11-months of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016, and AFV sales have risen 35% in the same time frame.

SMMT November 2017 registrations

Table courtesy of SMMT

With recent changes to diesel VED and company car tax announced in the Autumn Budget combined with increased provision for plug-in car drivers - particularly of company cars - the trends between the two fuel types is likely to continue, each in the same trajectory.

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Chris Lilly

Author:Chris Lilly
Date Updated:5th Dec 2017

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