Good news for EVs as February plug-in sales increase nearly 50%

Good news for EVs as February plug-in sales increase nearly 50%

New figures from the SMMT – for February 2021 – demonstrate another bumper month for sales of electric vehicles (EVs). Overall, 13% of all new UK car sales in February were EVs – up from 5.7% in February 2020.

Overall, however, car sales actually fell in February 2021, decreasing by 35.5% compared with the same period last year.

Despite this, 2021 continues to be a strong year for EV sales. February saw a 40.2% year-on-year increase in sales of battery electric vehicles (BEV) and a 52.1% increase in plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV). In stark contrast, sales of diesel fell significantly, by 61.0%, and sales of petrol vehicles fell by 44.5%.

Last month saw another 6,647 new EV registrations recorded in the UK – 3,516 BEVs and 3,131 PHEVs. In comparison, 4,566 new EV registrations were sold in February 2020, comprising 2,508 BEVs and 2,058 PHEVs. As of the end of February 2021, this takes the cumulative total of plug-in vehicles on UK roads to over 455,000 (approx. 215,000 BEVs and 240,000 PHEVs).

In terms of market share, EVs made up 13% of last month's overall vehicle sales, meaning EVs represent 13.4% of market share in 2021 so far.

The majority of new registrations over the past few years have come from PHEVs. However, in 2020 – thanks in part to longer range and greater model choice available among BEVs – this changed, with pure EVs leading on monthly sales and annual market share. Pure-electric vehicles are still just about clinging onto the lead, with 6.9% market share year to date, over PHEVs’ 6.5%.

Greater availability of vehicles, increasing consumer demand and government support mean that EV sales are growing strongly in conjunction with the development of charging point infrastructure in the UK. In contrast, there is a marked decline in demand for traditional vehicles with internal combustion engines, most noticeably amongst diesel vehicles, whose year-on-year decrease of 61.0% is particularly significant.

Olly Goodall

Author:Olly Goodall
Date Updated:5th Mar 2021

Related news