Electric car sales UK: 2019 stars with 110% jump

2019 begins with enormous leap for electric-car sales, with registrations up 110% on January 2018

Electric car sales shot up by 110% in January, with the UK seeing more than double the number of pure-electric vehicles hitting its roads compared to the same period last year.

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that 1,334 electric cars were sold last month, up from 635 in January 2018.

It demonstrates a rapidly increasing demand for electric cars: elsewhere, Kia has confirmed that the 900 e-Niros set aside for the UK in 2019 have almost all been sold already.

Meanwhile plug-in hybrids suffered a slight fall, with 15.6% fewer PHEVs being registered in the first month of the year. Petrol-electric hybrid sales rose by 38.3%, while diesel-electric hybrid sales tumbled from 38 units in January 2018 to just one so far this year.

Overall, electrified vehicles now represent 6.8% of the UK car market.

The progress of such cars is a promising development for manufacturers, which are seeing overall demand wane in Britain. Total car sales fell by 6.8% in 2018, and have begun 2019 with a 1.6% year-on-year fall.

In contrast, electric-car sales rose by 13.8% in 2018, despite the reduction of Government incentives for zero-emission vehicles.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “To restore momentum, we need supportive policies, not least on vehicle taxation, to encourage buyers to invest in new, cleaner vehicles that best suit their driving needs – from the latest petrols and diesels to an ever-growing range of exciting electrified vehicles.

“This would be good for the environment and good for the industry and those who depend on it.”