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Battery electric vehicles achieve record 15% market share in September 2021

Battery electric vehicles achieved 15% market share in the UK in September 2021, the best month ever for new BEV uptake. That equates to 32,721 BEVs – just 5,000 less than the total number registered during the whole of 2019.

Plug-in hybrid (PHEV) share also grew to 6.4%, meaning more than one in five new cars registered in September was zero-emission capable. Meanwhile, hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) grew their overall market share from 8.0% in 2020 to 11.6%, with 24,961 registered in the month.

Battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) enjoyed year on year growth of 137%. This is in contrast to petrol vehicle registrations dropping by 46.6% over the same period, diesels by 77.3% and mild hybrids by 88.4%. Year to date, BEV registrations are up by 88% compared to diesel falling by 44%. The best selling car overall in September 2021 was an EV – the Tesla Model 3.

The strong EV sales were against a backdrop of the UK new car market recording its weakest September since 1998 due to supply issues caused by semiconductor shortages, according to figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Some 215,312 cars were registered in the month, a 34.4% fall on September 2020, when pandemic restrictions were significantly curtailing economic activity. September is typically the second busiest month of the year for the industry, but with the ongoing shortage of semiconductors impacting vehicle availability, the 2021 performance was down some 44.7% on the pre-pandemic ten-year average.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said “This is a desperately disappointing September and further evidence of the ongoing impact of the Covid pandemic on the sector. Despite strong demand for new vehicles over the summer, three successive months have been hit by stalled supply due to reduced semiconductor availability, especially from Asia. Nevertheless, manufacturers are taking every measure possible to maintain deliveries and customers can expect attractive offers on a range of new vehicles.”

“Despite these challenges, the rocketing uptake of plug-in vehicles, especially battery electric cars, demonstrates the increasing demand for these new technologies. However, to meet our collective decarbonisation ambitions, we need to ensure all drivers can make the switch – not just those with private driveways – requiring a massive investment in public recharging infrastructure. Chargepoint roll-out must keep pace with the acceleration in plug-in vehicle registrations.”

One benefit of a larger number of new electric vehicles hitting our roads is that there’s more choice of used EVs for car buyers, and just like petrol and diesel cars, a Car Check should be carried out to be sure of a vehicle’s history.


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