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Encouraging signs of continued EV growth, but more needs to be done

posted on 08/11/2023
Encouraging signs of continued EV growth, but more needs to be done

“With October being an important bellwether following September’s plate change, it is positive to see the fifteenth month of continued growth for the automotive sector. As we approach the end of the year, it has been encouraging to see sustained growth for the sector despite external hardships including the ongoing cost-of-living crisis and the uncertainty surrounding governmental policies,” said Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK commenting on the latest SMMT’s new passenger car registration figures.

In October, a total of 153,529 new cars were registered, an increase of 14.3% from the same period last year. Sales to private buyers increased by 0.3%; fleet registrations were up by 28.8%.

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) experienced growth, up 20.1% to 23,943 units. Plug-in hybrid (PHEVs) registrations increased by 60.5% to 14,285 units, and hybrids (HEVs) followed with growth of 24.6% to 19,574 units. There are now 262,487 registered BEVs on the road in 2023 compared to the 195,547 at the same point last year, a 34.2% increase.

With sales of electric growing, diesel fell from 6,347 units to 5,261 (-17.1%), but petrol has risen from 56,993 units to 62,303 units (9.3%).

Sue Robinson added: “We look towards the upcoming Autumn Statement on 22 November for the government to provide clarity on policy in the sector, particularly regarding EVs. Nevertheless, it is encouraging to see from the figures that EV numbers have increased despite the recent announcement by Rishi Sunak to push back the phasing out of ICE vehicles from 2030 to 2035.

"It is crucial that the Government helps continue this momentum by offering attractive price incentives and investing into more charging infrastructure to meet higher demands. Whilst our members have been active in supporting consumers’ needs, the onus is on the government to provide clear guidance and stimulate further momentum for the sector.

"NFDA's recent Consumer Attitude Survey has highlighted that the lack of charging infrastructure does not instil confidence in prospective EV consumers with 57% of respondents alluding to this. Additionally, 67% of respondents indicated that price remains the key barrier to EV adoption.” 

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