Plug-In Electric Car Market Share In UK Surges Above 4% In August 2018

SEP 14 2018 BY MARK KANE 10

British plug-in electric car sales went through the roof.

We have been accustomed to plug-in car sales in UK standing between 2% to nearly 3% of the total market, but August brought us a surprising surge to over 4.2%!

Together with conventional non-rechargeable hybrids, overall around 8% or 1/12th of sales were electrified vehicles. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) notes:

“Meanwhile, the UK’s growing range of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric cars continued to attract buyers, with a record one in 12 people choosing one.1 Demand surged by a substantial 88.7%, with the sector accounting for 8.0% of the market – its highest ever level – as billions of pounds of manufacturer investment help deliver more ultra-low and zero emission models to the market.”

In total, 3,981 new plug-in cars were registered last month, which is almost 132% more than a year ago. Even despite the overall automotive market increasing by 23.1% to 94,094, the plug-ins gained a big increase in share.

Most of the market and growth comes from plug-in hybrids:

  • 659 BEVs (up 38% year-over-year)
  • 3,322 PHEVs (up 168% year-over-year)

Plug-in Electric Car Registrations in UK – August 2018

After eight months of 2018, total new plug-in registrations stand at 37,893 (8,980 BEVs and 28,913 PHEVs) at an average market share of nearly 2.4%.

September is always a big month in the UK, so stay tuned for more records soon.

Plug-in Electric Car Registrations in UK – August 2018

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10 Comments on "Plug-In Electric Car Market Share In UK Surges Above 4% In August 2018"

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I don’t think pickup trucks are popular in the UK, at least no where near the levels in the US. I’d like to know the US% if we don’t count pickup truck sales.

Nice. The UK needs to look seriously into demand-response systems to help optimize the grid. All their offshore wind and all the EVs can work together to stability the grid by optimizing charging times.

And that’s without the Model 3 being on the UK market.

Plug in hybrids will grow their sales in Europe – Diesel going down, high fuel prices and cheaper than full electrics will favor them.
I think they could reach the majority being sold very soon, the only thing that can avoid that is fully electric cars becoming a bit less expensive and with a bit more range.
Full electric cars have some great characteristics, but are still expensive, and range is not enough for many, also infrastructure needs to improve a little.

Good for the UK!
I’m curious about the far larger proportion of PHEVs vs. BEVs; IIRC it’s pretty much always been the case, unlike other countries in Europe.
The UK isn’t significantly larger or sparser population-wise than the others, so what’s the reason ? Do the incentives tend to favor PHEVs?

I’s because of the limited charging infrastructure leading to ‘range anxiety’ . So PHEV let you drive without this fears.
In Germany for the year (Jan-Aug 2018) quotas : BEV = 0.8%, PHEV = 1.1%, standard (no plug) hybrid = 2.9%

The incentives favour both equally and compelling long range, reasonably priced EVs are in very short supply in the UK.

Markets where PHEVs get the same or almost same incentives as BEVs, generally tend to be PHEV-dominated. While people often have reservations about pure electrics, if incentives are large enough to make up for the price difference, PHEVs are no-brainers.

Unfortunately, a lot of these incentives tend to go to alibi-PHEVs with barely usable electric range…

Thanks for all the replies; It does make sense then.