New record for zero emission cars

UK new registrations of electric cars surged to record levels, increasing by 144 per cent, even as overall new car registrations fell by 2.4 per cent in 2019 to 2.3 million units.

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that multiple reasons are slowing car sales, but that EVs are making headway, with a further 23 new models set to hit showrooms in 2020, the jumps that EV sales are making seem certain to continue.

The fallout from the diesel emissions scandal still haunts the UK market, with the modest growth in demand for petrol cars, up by 2.2 per cent, and significant growth in EVs failing to offset the significant decline of 21.8 per cent in diesel registrations.

December marked the 33rd month of diesel decline, and the issues has led to drivers keeping their older, more polluting vehicles on the road for longer, ironically preventing progress towards environmental goals.

But alternatively fuelled vehicle (AFV) registrations surged in 2019 to take a record 7.4 per cent market share. Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) continued to dominate this sector, with registrations increasing by 17.1 per cent to 97,850 units. Battery electric vehicles (EV) experienced the biggest percentage growth, as noted rising 144.0 per cent to 37,850 units and overtaking plug-in hybrids for the first time.

December ended the year with the market up by 3.4 per cent, with EVs up by 220.7 per cent, while PHEV registrations grew by 21.8 per cent.

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