SMMT – electric car sales surge

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has shown UK electric and hybrid vehicle sales surged in August even as overall sales of cars sank to the lowest level since August 2013.

In what is normally the quietest month of the year in terms of vehicle sales, just 68,033 vehicles were registered.

While overall sales felly by 22% the proportion of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) registered surged by 32.2%, hybrid (HEVs) car sales rose by 45.7% and plug-in hybrids (PHEV) sales grew by 72.1%. This is helped by the wide range of models in these categories available for sale in the UK today – the SMMT say there are now 130 plug-in models on the market.

Business car sales fell sharply in August, meaning that private customers drove car sales – around 49.6% of sales made that month.

Overall, UK car sales are up for the year by over 20% as against 2020 when many car dealerships were forced to close during the pandemic. BEVs account for 8.4% of the market and PHEVs 6.6% of the market.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “While August is normally one of the quietest months for UK new car registrations these figures are still disappointing, albeit not wholly surprising. The global shortage of semiconductors has affected UK, and indeed global, car production volumes so new car registrations will inevitably be undermined. Government can help by continuing the supportive Covid measures in place currently, especially the furlough scheme which has proven invaluable to so many businesses.

“As we enter the important September plate-change month with an ever-increasing range of electrified models and attractive deals, buyers in the market for the new 71 plate can be reassured manufacturers are doing all they can to ensure prompt deliveries.”

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