Record year as electric vehicles reach a sixth of all new car sales in the UK

The UK electric vehicle (EV) market hit new highs in 2021, with more battery electric vehicles (BEVs) sold than in the previous five years combined.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), 191,000 new BEVs have hit UK roads, along with 115,000 plug-in hybrids, meaning 18.5% of all new cars registered in 2021 can be plugged in. This is in addition to the 147,246 hybrid electric vehicles sold, which again took 8.9% market share. In total, 27.5% of the country’s auto market is now electrified in one form or another.

A black cab hybrid charging station and charging point, Belgravia, London. (Photo by via Shutterstock)

Customer preference for electric vehicles continues to rise, with December seeing BEVs take record market share in a month of non-lockdown trading, accounting for 25.5% of all new registrations. More than 40% of templates are now available as plugins.

The UK was the third largest European market for new car registrations in 2021, but the second largest by volume for plug-in hybrids and BEVs. It is, however, only ninth in Europe for BEVs in terms of market share, despite the country having among the most ambitious climate targets for cars, with the sale of new petrol and diesel cars set to come to an end. here 2030.

Norway is ahead of the rest of Europe when it comes to electric vehicle sales. In the year 2021, 65% of new car registrations in the country were all-electric BEVs and 28% were hybrids (22% plug-in, 6% non-plug-in).