August 2020 saw registrations for new electrics cars more than double when compared to the same period last year. Despite a 5% decrease for the overall passenger vehicle market, sales of EVs of all types were seen to surge last month with 1 in 10 new cars in the UK being electric. On top of this, roughly a quarter of all new cars sold in August in the UK market were either partially or fully electric, be that BEV, PHEV or mild hybrid.
The Society or Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) recorded a 110% increase in registrations in electric cars in August when compared to last year, with year-to-date sales surpassing EV registrations for the whole of 2019.
Pure BEVs lead the statistics with a 78% increase August 2020 vs August 2019, boasting 5,589 registrations, accounting for market share increase from 3.4% last year to 6.4% now. These figures are especially impressive when you consider the total passenger car market dropped 5.8% from last year’s level. Following the same path of success, PHEV sales saw a 221% on last year’s numbers, with drivers registering 2,922 new vehicles and recording a 3.3% market share. These sales figures saw EVs make up 1/10th of new cars sold last month, shown in the table created by SMMT below.
Despite the sales surge and promising registration rates, the passenger vehicle industry has warned governments and councils that EV demand may be too high for the infrastructure to cope with. The SMMT has raised concerns that if government aspirations to phase out new ICE vehicle sales by 2035 are to be realised, a huge investment in charging infrastructure must be made. It was calculated that councils will have to spend roughly £16.5bn on charging opportunities, installing the equivalent of 507 chargers every day (from now until 2035), to cater for customers concerned with on-street charging access and availability. Charging has time and time again proven to be a great worry for both current and potential EV drivers, and Mike Hawes of the SMTT agrees, urging councils of the “need to throw the kitchen sink at the issue of charging,” saying that “We need to over-provide.”
With the sales and registration figures of electric cars so promising, with levels only looking to be on the rise, we must cater for the needs of EV culture if we want to promote sustainable personal travel and reach the desired levels of EV adoption by 2035.