Increase in electric car sales counters mild-hybrid surge

Increase in electric car sales counters mild-hybrid surge

The latest figures on new car registrations in July have today been released by The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

It seems July 2021 was a good month for battery-electric vehicles (BEV), which played a significant role in overall car sales, comprising 9% of all new car registrations. Although it was by no means the highest market share, or indeed number, of sales that BEVs have enjoyed so far, it was encouraging to see that sales of these pure-electric vehicles increased by 36.5% compared with July 2020.

Last month also saw sales of petrol and diesel cars drop significantly, with diesel decreasing by nearly 70% and petrol by 45.5% compared with the same period in 2020.

However, despite this positive news, there were also some worrying signs. Like June 2021, there were also significant increases last month in the sales of mild hybrid electric vehicles (MHEV). Sales of MHEV petrol vehicles increased by 63%, from 10,253 in July 2020 to 16,701 last month. Hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) also increased 15.5% in July 2021 compared to the same period last year.

The increases were not as pronounced as those of June 2021, but the figures undoubtedly highlight the need for better consumer communication and education around the different types of hybrid vehicles available, with MHEVs and HEVs providing very little environmental benefit.

In terms of overall sales of plug-in vehicles, last month saw a total of 21,039 new plug-in vehicle registrations, comprising 11,139 BEVs and 9,900 plug-in hybrids (PHEV). This takes the cumulative total of plug-in vehicles on UK roads – as of the end of July 2021 – to over 590,000 (approx. 290,000 BEVs and 300,000 PHEVs).

In terms of market share, plug-in sales were at 17.0% last month, down by 0.2% from June. This means they now represent 14.8% market share in 2021 year-to-date. So far in 2021, BEVs represent 8.2% of market share, with PHEVs at 6.6%. The two figures have been steadily increasing as the year progresses.

Olly Goodall

Author:Olly Goodall
Date Updated:5th Aug 2021

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