Latest Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) figures show that Battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids saw their combined market share double year-on-year from 7.3% to 13.9%.
The increase has been helped by an increase in the number of models on the market, which is now 116, up from 72. BEV registrations increased by 88.2% to 22,003 units, while PHEVs rose by 152.2% to 17,330. Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) also rose 42.0% to reach 21,599 registrations.
56,122 vans were registered in March, up 85.5% compared to last March when the UK entered its first Covid-19 lockdown. Although March saw the largest ever increase in van registrations since the switch to the two-plate system in 1999, it still represented a -10.9% decrease when compared to the pre-pandemic 2015-2019 average.
Despite all van segments experiencing higher demand, growth was led by an increase in larger van registrations, as vans weighing more than 2.5-3.5 tonnes made up the majority of the month’s figures, doubling (101.0%) to 36,032 vehicles.
The UK new car market recorded 29,280 more units registered during March compared to the same month last year, when registrations fell by -44.4% in the first month of lockdown.
Compared with the 2010-2019 March average of 450,189, car registrations were down -36.9%, with 283,964 units registered. So far, 2021 has seen 58,032 fewer cars registered compared to January to March last year.
The growth in the car market came almost entirely from fleets, which saw a 28.7% increase in registrations. Retail consumer demand was down by -4.1% compared to March 2020.