August 2020 EV sales set new record

Registrations of electric cars were up 110% in August 2020 compared to last year, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 2020's year-to-date electric car sales have now surpassed EV registrations for the whole of 2019 - with four months of sales still to come.

Sales of pure-EVs were up 78% in August 2020 vs the same period last year, with 5,589 models registered. This accounts for a market share of 6.4%, compared to 3.4% last year. That's against a backdrop of total market sales down 5.8% for the month.

Plug-in hybrid sales saw greater comparative success, up 221% vs last year, with 2,922 models registered and a market share of 3.3%. August 2019 saw that market share at 1%.

Combined registrations of pure-EVs and PHEVs - plug-in electric vehicles - make up one in ten new cars sold in August 2020.

EV market share

Only mild hybrid registrations manage to match or beat these figures, though these are effectively conventional petrol or diesel models with beefed-up starter motors. The overall UK car market fell 5.8% against last year, down to 87,266 units.

August is traditionally a relatively quiet month, with the new number-plate arriving in September. As such, with the impact of coronavirus and the new plate having now arrived (not included in August's figures) ,a relatively small decline is not too troubling for the market.

It is hoped that September's sales will show increases that, since the opening up of lockdown at car dealerships in July, have created optimism - particularly for the electric vehicle market. EVs have shown sustained and significant growth throughout 2020, and this trend is expected to continue.

SMMT EV Aug 20

Looking at the year to date, registrations of pure-electric models have increased by 157% with 44,708 units, taking a market share of 4.9% in 2020 YTD compared to 2019's 1.1%.

PHEVs have increased 68% in the same timeframe, with 29,877 registrations and a 2020 market share of 3.3%, compared to 1.2%. Combined electric vehicle sales total 74,587 units, up 112% vs 2019 YTD.

2020's YTD electric vehicle registrations are already up 2.5% compared to the full twelve months of 2019, breaking the record for the number of EVs sold in a calendar year - and there are four months remaining to extend that increase further.

EV month on month

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Chris Lilly

Author:Chris Lilly
Date Updated:4th Sep 2020

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