Electric car sales UK 2022: EVs account for more than one in five new cars in November
UK new-car registrations in November 2022 were up over 23% on the same month last year, with market share for electric models staying strong
Electric car sales peaked last month, accounting for more than one in five new cars registered through November – the largest monthly share for EVs this year. A total of 224,919 zero-emission vehicles have been sold year-to-date.
November saw a big jump in overall new-car registrations (up 23.5% on the same month last year). However, a slow start to 2022 means numbers are still down 3.4% year-to-date – equivalent to almost 53,000 cars. This drop is driven largely by a 10.8% decline in fleet sales.
A total of 142,889 cars were registered in the UK in November 2022, of which 20.6% (29,372) were electric. A further 16,066 (11.2%) were hybrids, and 10,186 7.1%) were plug-in hybrids. Together, these electrified models accounted for 38.9% of the new-car market.
Petrol cars continue to take the lion’s share of sales, however, accounting for 40.3% of registrations in November, and 43.1% year-to-date. Diesel’s share continues to fall – just 5,605 diesel cars were sold last month, representing a 5.6% drop year-on-year.
The best-selling electric car in November was the Tesla Model Y, coming second only to the Nissan Qashqai overall. The top five was completed by the MINI Hatch, Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa; the Fiesta seeing a boost through October and November after its maker confirmed production would cease in 2023.
Last month’s numbers mean that four of the top 10 best-selling cars in November were available with a plug. Year-to-date, eight of the top 10 are available with either pure-electric or plug-in hybrid powertrains.
The SMMT previously forecasted 1.72 million new cars would be registered in 2022, which would be a 4.5% rise on 2021. However, with the market currently down year-to-date, and with only one month left to run, this is looking less likely. At the time, however, the organisation also predicted plug-in cars would account for a quarter of all registrations; the market is currently tracking strongly to far exceed this target.
UK electric and hybrid car sales in 2021
More new fully electric cars were registered in the UK during 2021 than in the previous five years combined. A total of 190,727 battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) hit UK roads during 2021, representing a 76% increase on 2020's volume and an 11.6% share of the overall 2021 new-car market.
The good news for electric-car sales was tempered by a subdued performance for the UK new-car market overall, which grew by 1% on 2020's Covid-affected volume, but was still 28.7% smaller than it was in pre-pandemic 2019. A total of 1.65 million new cars entered the UK market during 2021, with petrol and mild-hybrid petrol cars making up 58.3% of sales, diesels and mild-hybrid diesels 14.2%, fully electric cars 11.6%, non-plug-in hybrids 8.9% and plug-in hybrids 7% of the total.
Best-selling electric and plug-in hybrid cars of 2021
The Tesla Model 3 was by far the UK's best-selling electric car overall in 2021, with nearly 35,000 examples registered, compared to just over 12,000 of the second best-selling EV, the Kia e-Niro. The Volkswagen ID.3 completed the top three, with just over 11,000 examples registered.
The Model 3 was also the second best-selling car of any fuel type in the UK in 2021, behind only the Vauxhall Corsa supermini, which is available with both petrol and electric power and sold just under 41,000 units overall. The best-selling pure-electric cars in the UK across 2021 were as follows:
|1. Tesla Model 3||34,783|
|2. Kia e-Niro||12,271|
|3. Volkswagen ID.3||11,032|
|4. Nissan Leaf||9,052|
|5. Audi e-tron||7,396|
|6. Hyundai Kona Electric||7,199|
|7. MINI Electric||6,615|
|8. Renault ZOE||5,778|
|9. Vauxhall Corsa-e||5,605|
|10. MG ZS EV||5,380|
While the best-selling plug-in hybrids during 2021 were as follows:
|1. BMW 330e||10,979|
|2. Mercedes A 250 e||6,495|
|3. Volvo XC40 Recharge||6,362|
|4. Ford Kuga Plug-In Hybrid||6,137|
|5. Audi A3 TFSI e||5,755|
|6. Range Rover Evoque P300e||4,537|
|7. BMW X5 xDrive45e||3,703|
|8. Volvo XC60 Recharge||3,538|
|9. Range Rover Sport P400e||2,919|
|10. SEAT Leon e-Hybrid||2,726|
Commenting on 2021's figures, SMMT chief Mike Hawes said: "Despite the challenges, the undeniable bright spot is the growth in electric car uptake. A record-breaking year for the cleanest vehicles is testament to the investment made by the industry over the past decade and the attractiveness of the technology.
"The biggest obstacle to our shared net zero ambitions is not product availability, however, but cost and charging infrastructure. Recent cuts to incentives and home charging grants should be reversed and we need to boost the rollout of public on-street charging with mandated targets, providing every driver, wherever they live, with the assurance they can charge where and when they want."
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