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UK goes electric

1 in 5 new cars fully electric in bumper August for EV sales
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Two white Volkswagen Golf GTE cars charging at a charging point on a street in London

The latest UK electric car sales data show over one in five new cars are electric, and 29% are hybrid – meaning pure electric and hybrid electric cars together represented half of all new cars registered in the UK.

The number of electric cars registered in August was 77% higher than August 2022, when battery-powered cars represented 15% of all cars sold.

Electric van sales grew by 13% compared with August last year.

Registrations of both petrol and diesel cars fell to historic lows, both accounting for the smallest share of new cars in any 12-month period for the last 20 years.

‘Electric cars are selling like hot cakes. However, with the government deciding to ‘side with motorists’, while pursuing an anti-green agenda, you have to wonder if ministers are foolishly ignoring these soaring sales and instead listening to the vested interests attempting to park EVs’ growth. 

‘Sunak may say the 2030 petrol and diesel phase out date is immovable, but unless he brings in the overdue mandate on manufacturers to ramp up production in order to meet it, the deadline is likely to be missed. 

‘Demand is clearly growing but, for the trajectory to continue, and for all motorists to be able to access the cheaper running costs that EVs bring, then prices must fall. And for that to happen the government needs to capitalise on this public appetite and stop dragging its feet by finally introducing the regulation, while rapidly ramping up charging infrastructure.’

Greenpeace UK’s policy director

Tesla tops the table

Tesla continues to top the table for manufacturers in 2023, bagging 17% of the market and dominating sales in all but two months of the year. 

Tesla was followed by MG in second and BMW in third place, with 40% of BMWs sold in August fully electric.
Electric motorbike sales fell by 44%, having struggled to make headway in sales since the scaling back of the plug-in motorbike grant in 2021.

Electric vans and battery-powered lorries also had a bumper August, with 8% of new vans being battery powered, and a record number of electric HGVs hitting the UK’s roads. 

Zero Emissions Vehicle mandate

In 2024 manufacturers will have to ensure they have enough Zero Emissions Vehicle credits to cover 22% of their car sales and 10% of their van sales.

New AutoMotive is calling for the ZEV mandate to be put into law. 

‘It is great to see British motorists embracing clean cars in their thousands. Despite an unprecedented cost-of-living crisis and rising interest rates, demand for electric cars has remained surprisingly resilient. 

‘Motorists who go electric don’t look back: they tell us they love the cheaper running costs, smoother driving experience and guilt-free travel.

‘The government should build on this progress by putting in place a strong California-style Zero Emissions Vehicle Mandate to give car companies and EV charger installers certainty. It is almost two years since this policy was first announced; ministers should stop dragging their feet and put it in law.’

Chief executive of New AutoMotive

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