The revolution is upon us. Buyers habits are changing more progressively than ever before as the stats show a huge shift in market behaviour through the month of November. 156,621 new cars were registered in the UK last month, which is a 1.3% decrease when compared to November of 2018, but when you look at the data at a more granular level, there’s plenty to be encouraged by.
Battery-powered vehicles are taking over, with a year-on-year percentage increase that is way ahead of what people had predicted, while the Diesel models fall out favour considerably.
In November of 2018, just 1,415 BEV (Battery Electric Vehicles) were registered. These are cars with no petrol engine whatsoever and can only be charged via plug. In November 2019, 4,652 BEVs were registered, which marks a massive 228.8% increase.
The good news continues. Plug-In Hybrid Electric vehicles continued their rise in popularity, with 4,362 new PHEVs registered in November, while only 3,236 were registered in the same period last year. This marks a solid 34.8% increase year-on-year.
2019 has actually been the year of the ‘Mild-Hybrids’. These are diesel or petrol-powered cars which use a mild hybrid system to help get the wheels rolling and use a battery to aid the start-stop functionality. Consider this a middle ground on the way to a hybrid. When looking at the year to date figures, there was a 792.6% increase in MHEV diesel models and 162.9% increase in MHEV petrol models - although it’s worth mentioning that there were very few ‘mild hybrids’ on the market when compared to the same period last year.
Perhaps the most encouraging of all stats for the eco-warriors among us will be the decline in popularity of diesel models. While the new Euro standard diesel engines are the cleanest they have ever been, the production, distribution and politics of Diesel fuel will always be unsustainable, and the 22% drop in popularity in the year-to-date figures from the SMMT show that attitudes are certainly changing.
There’s both good news and bad news in the new car market. The overall number of sales has dropped in 2019 by 2.7%, which may sound worse than it is because we do have a notoriously strong new car market when compared to the rest of Europe. There is still plenty of encouragement to take from seeing how well the public opinion is shifting towards electrically powered vehicles. With Brexit looming, economic uncertainties are aplenty and you can’t blame the public for being a little more conservative with their cash. There is also confusion around potential low-emission zones in city centres and built-up areas which will certainly factor into the decision making of car buyers.
SMMT Chief Executive, Mike Hawes, said “These are challenging times for the UK new car market, with another fall in November reflecting the current climate of uncertainty. It’s good news, however, to see registrations of electrified cars surging again, and 2020 will see manufacturers introduce plenty of new, exciting models to give buyers even more choice.”
“Nevertheless, there is still a long way to go for these vehicles to become mainstream and, to grow uptake further, we need fiscal incentives, investment in charging infrastructure and a more confident consumer.”
Are you becoming more likely to buy an electric vehicle as your next car, or are you still unsure of making the shift? Or if you have already made the change to an electric car, let us know how you are finding it in the comments section below...