EVs continue sales success in January 2020 figures

The UK electric vehicle market continues to go from strength to strength, as the number of pure-electric cars tops the 100,000 mark in January 2020 - seeing registrations up more than 200% compared to last year.

The latest set of statistics rom the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shows that more than 4,000 pure-electric cars were registered during the month.

This figure, combined with more than 4,750 plug-in hybrid (PHEV) cars sold made January second best performing month in history in terms of electric vehicle market share at 5.9%. Total plug-in car registrations - pure-EVs and PHEVs combined - is now more than 273,000 units in the UK.

Electric vehicle sales January 2020 UK

It is the first time since May 2019 that PHEVs have out performed pure-electric sales, but each sector continues its recent highly positive performance. As recently as summer last year, a typical electric vehicle market share was around 2.5-3% of all new cars registered. That figure in the last three months averages around 6%.

January represents the fourth best month for market share in terms of pure-electric models at 2.7% of all new cars registered, and a new record for PHEVs at 3.2%. Compare that to 2019's share of under 1% for pure-electric cars and a PHEV market share of less than half this year's figure. Pure-electric registrations were up 204% compared to January 2019, whilst PHEVs also saw a significant increase at 111%.

Pure-electric sales January 2020 UK

With yesterday's news of plans to bring forward the ban on petrol and diesel cars to 2035, plus the inclusion of hybrids and plug-in hybrids, it is encouraging that the recent strong showing of pure-electric models in particular shows no sign of being a flash in the pan.

Whilst still representing a relatively small proportion of the overall car market in the UK, it is clear that the demand is there from customers, as sales continue to grow as new models go on sale and greater numbers of EVs become available.

Against an overall backdrop of decline in new car sales in the UK - the overall market was down 7.3% in January 2020 - the performance of electric and electrified vehicles is the biggest positive.

SMMT January 2020 registration figures

Table courtesy of SMMT

Diesel sales continue to drop - -36% in January - and have fallen to less than one in five of all new cars sold, while petrol registrations also fell, by almost 10%. Contrasting these fortunes are those increases in pure-electric and PHEV sales, plus the 20% increase seen in the conventional hybrid market.

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Chris Lilly

Author:Chris Lilly
Date Updated:5th Feb 2020

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