The British car market shrunk over 20% in September.

UK felt the WLTP-certification turbulence last month as overall car sales decreased by 20.5% to 338,834 (diesels sunk by 42.5%).

Surprisingly, plug-in car sales also went down, so there is no new record we  had hoped for. "Only" 6,961 new passenger plug-in cars were registered, which is 14.1% less than a year ago at 2.05% market share.

All-electric models were selling good, but the plug-in hybrids were probably partially hit by WLTP or some supply constraints (we are not sure how the new Outlander PHEV - the best selling plug-in model in UK - is coping on the demand/supply line):

  • 2,290 BEVs (up 9.2% year-over-year)
  • 4,671 PHEVs (down 22.3% year-over-year)

Plug-in Electric Car Registrations in UK – September 2018

Plug-in Electric Car Registrations in UK – September 2018
Plug-in Electric Car Registrations in UK – September 2018

Info about WLTP impact:

"From 1 September, all cars sold in the EU have to undergo a new test called the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). The test measures all regulated emissions, as well as CO2 and fuel economy. Like the old test it replaces, it is conducted in controlled laboratory conditions for consistency across every test and every new vehicle in every country. However, it is conducted at faster speeds, over a longer distance and is more dynamic, with a greater range of vehicle and engine speeds, engine load, gear changes and temperatures, while also taking into account modern vehicle technology. And, because it is based upon some half a million miles of real driving data, it is far closer to the conditions most people experience on the road today.

In addition, new cars will also need to prove their air quality credentials ‘on the road’ by passing the new Real Driving Emissions (RDE) test. This rigorous test, which takes around four days to complete, is supplementary to WLTP and uses specially calibrated state-of-the-art portable emissions measurement (PEMS) equipment. This very sensitive equipment analyses the trace tailpipe emissions of pollutants while the car is driven in a wide range of both every-day and extreme conditions, from stop-start inner-city, to open road driving, and even at rarely, if ever, encountered speeds of 100mph and altitudes equivalent to Ben Nevis."