In the UK, 17,110 plug-in cars were registered throughout October, seeing BEVs and PHEVs taking 12.1% of an overall declining market. The new sales also indicate an increase of 172% compared to the same month last year.
Battery-electric vehicles register a slightly bigger increase with 9,335 units out of the 17,110 total. The remaining 7,775 plug-in hybrids represent a change of close to 150% and 5.5% market share in October. The increase in BEVs compared to 2019 was almost 200% (195.8%) so a tripling in sales.
Taking the year to date, SMMT counts 75,946 all-electric cars (up 169% year-over-year) and a steady market share of 5.5%. From January to October, sales of PHEV amounted to 50,052 (up 92% year-over-year) for a market share of 3.6% in the UK. Total plug-in sales now stand at 125,988 (up 132% year-over-year) for a market share of 9.1%.
The share comes amid a decline in the overall market. The UK new car market falls -1.6% in October, with 140,945 cars registered, marking a nine-year low for the sector. With the second lockdown having set in and Brexit looming, the future remains uncertain.
SMMT in earlier communications expected the sector on course to record its worst performance since 1992 and below the levels seen during the financial crisis. Despite this, the trader’s association projected the BEV market to double in 2020 to 77,300 units as new model introductions would prop up the market.
Looking back to the first Covid related decline, the British car market was at an all-time low of no more than 4,321 new cars listed last April. This had resulted in a record market share of 31.8 per cent for all-electric cars that month as reported. Back then, the Tesla Model 3 made it onto the list of bestselling cars as did the Jaguar I-Pace and Nissan Leaf. We are waiting to hear of the battery-electric bestsellers in October. SMMT does not list electric car sales per model.