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Almost one in five new cars was a battery electric vehicle in November 2021

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) equated to 18.8% of the new car market in November 2021, according to new figures released from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

This equated to 21,726 units – more than double compared with November 2020 – while plug-in hybrid vehicles’ (PHEVs) share grew to 9.3% or 10,796 units.

In total, plug-in cars represented 28.1% of the market in November.

Year-to-date, 1,538,585 new cars have been registered, of which 17.5% have been BEVs or PHEVs, meaning one in six new cars is capable of being plugged in. When combined with hybrid electric vehicles (9.0% share), more than a quarter (26.5%) of the new car market during 2021 has been electrified.

Despite this uptake in demand for plug-in vehicles, new SMMT analysis this month revealed that the pace of on-street public charging infrastructure rollout is lagging, with the number of plug-in cars potentially sharing a public on-street charger deteriorating from 11 to 16 between 2019 and 2020, and just one standard on-street public charger installed for every 52 new plug-in cars registered over the course of this year.

Britain’s ratio of plug-in vehicles on the road to standard public chargers (16:1) was one of the worst among the top 10 global electric vehicle markets at the end of 2020. With plug-in vehicle uptake having grown by 86.6% in 2021, the SMMT is calling on the government to take action to avoid the ratio deteriorating further, by boosting the provision of public charging points through the imposition of binding targets.

The shortage of semi-conductors still undermines both production and registrations of new vehicles. The SMMT says that the industry is working flat out to overcome these issues and fulfil orders, but disruption is likely to last into next year, compounding the need for customers to place orders early.

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