Despite the car market in the UK shrinking, the plug-in electric segment expands like there's no tomorrow.

In December, a near-record 31,022 new passenger plug-in cars were registered, which is 229% more than a year ago! At the same time, the overall car registrations declined by 10.9%. As a result, the plug-in market share improved to 23.4%! That's almost one in four new cars.

The all-electric car sales actually hit a new record of 21,914 registrations - increasing by an unbelievable 344% year-over-year and taking 16.5% of the market. BEVs are now above diesel cars.

Plug-in electric car registrations in the UK – December 2020

  • BEVs: 21,914 (up 344% year-over-year) at market share of 16.5%
  • PHEVs: 9,108 (up 103% year-over-year) at market share of 6.9%
  • Total: 31,022 (up 229% year-over-year) at market share of 23.4%

In 2020, 175,082 new plug-in electric cars were registered in the UK (140% more than a year ago), taking 10.7% of the total market!

It's an outstanding result taking into consideration that the market went down by almost 30%!

According to the SMMT, there is room for further gains in 2021, because most of the sales were company cars:

"It was, however, a bumper year for battery and plug-in hybrid electric cars, which together accounted for more than one in 10 registrations – up from around one in 30 in 2019. Demand for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) grew by 185.9% to 108,205 units, while registrations of plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) rose 91.2% to 66,877.

Encouragingly, there is room for further growth as most of these registrations (68%) were for company cars, indicating that private buyers need stronger incentives to make the switch, as well as more investment in charging infrastructure, especially public on-street charging."

Sales YTD:

  • BEVs: 108,205 (up 186% year-over-year) - market share of 6.6%
  • PHEVs: 66,877 (up 91% year-over-year)- market share of 4.1%
  • Total: 175,082 (up 140% year-over-year) - market share of 10.7%

More details, including also other types:


Top models

The list of the top 10 models for the month reveals a big positive surprise - two stand alone models are in the top positions: Tesla Model 3 #1 (5,798) and Volkswagen ID.3 is #4 (3,188).

The brief report does not include more details, but we know that many of the top-selling cars are available in plug-in versions.


Volvo announced that in 2020, its PHEV sales in the UK almost doubled to 7,104, accounting for 15% of its new car sales total.

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