Milestone moment for EVs

January saw Britain register its one millionth electric vehicle, during a month that saw the new car market grow by 8.2%. The latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), also show that the fleet sector continues to prop up the market as private demand fell 15.8%.

With 142,876 new cars registered, last month represented the best January since before the pandemic. Fleet registrations accounted for six in 10 new cars and are up 29.9% year on year. It is the fleet sector that has driven uptake of electric vehicles to date, with BEVs overall up 21% year-on-year and seeing the total number sold since 2002 surpass one million. In January, BEVs had a market share of 14.7%. Plug-in hybrids (PHEV) saw share grow to 8.4% while hybrids (HEV) fell to 13.1% share.

The SMMT data lays bare the contrast between fleet and business uptake of EVs when compared to private buyers. Fleet and business demand – which includes company car schemes and salary sacrifice – grew by 41.7% in January. Private demand went in the opposite direction, falling 25.1%.

In response, the SMMT is calling for a temporary reduction of VAT on electric vehicles. Members can view the BVRLA’s asks in this area on the Future of Fleets Manifesto.