Plug-In Electric Car Sales Surprisingly Decreased In UK In September

OCT 5 2018 BY MARK KANE 10

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

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.”

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10 Comments on "Plug-In Electric Car Sales Surprisingly Decreased In UK In September"

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As so called EV vehicles range anxiety is going away, pure BEV sales will go up, and PHEV will go down. It is all logical and makes sense. It is a trend.

The same in Spain. In some european markets, in August the ammount of cars sold was bigger than usual, because most of makers released their stocks and make autoregistrations to avoid the problem of selling not wltp cars after September 1st.
So in the next months, probably the numbers will be worst than other yearse, until the situation get in normality.

Huh. Stockpiling maybe?

The UK car sales fell by 20% in September, so plug-ins fared better than ICEs.

September ever year has experienced a dip in market share.


The automotive market has always been highly seasonal. It’s a mistake to read much into sales rising or falling for a single month, or even a season. Sales can be greatly affected by auto maker or dealer incentives and special sales, and by the changeover to a new model year.

It’s best to compare year-on-year sales figures, and ignore shorter time frames.

6,961 is still a big #. Combined with Norway, Sweden and Spain, the total comes to 16,000. Add the 44,000 of USA and it comes to 60,000 for now.

Definitely 2018-09 will overtake 2017-12 in Worldwide sales. Normally December’s set the high mark only, this time that could be challenged.

Not to mention combining the numbers with China (-;

Not really surprising at all, with the WLTP situation in a PHEV-dominated market… BEV market share seems to be up by about 35% — which is a bit below worldwide average, but still very solid 🙂