Plug-in electric car sales in the UK hugely accelerated during 2021, which will completely overshadow the results of the past decade.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)'s forecast, some 287,000 plug-in vehicles will be registered in 2021, which will be more than from 2010 to 2019 combined (271,962).

"The rise is even more remarkable given that 2021 is expected to be a relatively weak year for new car registrations, some -30% below the average recorded over the past decade.1 The semiconductor shortage has reduced overall global car production, but manufacturers have done all they can to ensure the availability of as many plug-in vehicles as possible.

Uptake rates of plug-in vehicles began to accelerate dramatically during 2020, as the billions of pounds invested by manufacturers in new technology resulted in the widest ever choice of zero emission-capable cars. More than a quarter of all car models available in the UK can now be plugged in."

UK: More plug-in vehicles to be registered in 2021 than the whole of the last decade

According to the latest data, around one in six new cars is rechargeable in 2021, and the only way forward is up.

In October specifically, plug-ins were responsible for 23% of new registrations (including 15% BEVs). Year-to-date the share is 16.6% (including 10% BEVs).

However, at least for now, two-thirds of the orders come from large fleets. It suggests that consumers are not yet ready to step up in volume.

"Businesses have been particularly incentivised to invest in plug-in cars thanks to a range of tax breaks and grants, meaning around two in every three new BEV registrations this year have been for large fleets."

The forecast says that in 2022, battery-electric cars will outsell conventional diesel and mild-hybrid diesel cars.

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