Electric car sales UK: electric car sales up 61.7%

Electric-car sales grow again in June as 2,461 new battery electric vehicle enter UK roads

Sales of electric cars rose by 61.7% in June, with 2,461 new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) registered in the UK that month.

Data compiled by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shows that 60.3% more electric cars have been sold so far in 2019 compared to the same stage last year. This is despite the overall market – which is still dominated by petrol and diesel vehicles – declining by 3.4% in the same six-month period.

Demand for electric cars is rising steadily: popular models like the Kia e-Niro and Hyundai Kona Electric sold out their entire allocation for 2019 several months ago. However, electric cars still account for a small share of the overall market, with just 0.9% of new cars sold in the UK this year featuring a fully electric powertrain.

Meanwhile, plug-in hybrid registrations have dropped again, with 50.4% fewer PHEVs sold last month than in June 2018. A total of 14,923 new plug-in hybrids have been sold in the UK in 2019, down from 21,200 at the same stage in 2018.

Petrol-electric hybrids – such as the Toyota Prius Hybrid and Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid – also dropped, albeit by a small margin: 8,585 sales represents a 4.7% fall from last year, with this year's total market share decreasing to 3.9%.

Overall, electrified vehicles – sometimes referred to as alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) – have accounted for 6% of all cars sold in 2019.

Late last year, the Government’s plug-in car grant was restructured, reducing the discount for electric cars from £4,500 to £3,500. No plug-in hybrid vehicle currently on sale is eligible, with this type of car having previously attracting an incentive worth £2,500.

Responding to the latest figures, SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “Another month of decline is worrying but the fact that sales of alternatively fuelled cars are going into reverse is a grave concern.

"Manufacturers have invested billions to bring these vehicles to market but their efforts are now being undermined by confusing policies and the premature removal of purchase incentives. If we are to see widespread uptake of these vehicles, which are an essential part of a smooth transition to zero emission transport, we need world-class, long-term incentives and substantial investment in infrastructure."