New registrations of electric vehicles reached 6.1 per cent in June and have moved ahead of industry projections against a backdrop of steep overall decline.
Latest data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show while sales of petrol and diesel cars continue to be severely affected by the economic impacts of Covid-19, EV sales are accelerating.
Figures for June show new EV registrations were up 262 per cent for the month year on year. Petrol and diesel sales were down 40 per cent and 60 per cent respectively.
For the year to data, EV sales are up 4.7 per cent, putting them slightly ahead of SMMT member projections.
According to its April member survey, the car industry believes battery electric vehicles (BEVs) will reach 4.6 per cent marketshare by the end of 2020. They think BEVs will reach 6.1 per cent by the end of 2021. Those quarterly projections are due to be updated later this month and look certain to be revised upwards given the decline in internal combustion engine sales.
While Tesla is not a member of the SMMT, the society’s data shows the carmaker’s model 3 was among the top ten models sold in June.
In all, registrations for the first half stood at 623,483, the lowest since 1971.
The SMMT said private demand proved more resilient than business, down -19.2 per cent in June with orders made pre-lockdown resulting in 72,827 registrations and accounting for more than half of the market. Fleet sales fell by -45.2 per cent to 69,498 units as businesses paused purchasing amid expenditure reviews.
SMMT president Mike Hawes said lost sales to date have cost the government £1.1bn in VAT receipts alone.
Treasury must introduce measures to boost the economy and kick start consumer spending, said Hawes, “otherwise it runs the risk of losing billions more in revenue from this critical sector at a time when the public purse needs it more than ever”.