Currently reading: Hybrids, EVs claim 27% market share as registrations climb slightly
SMMT figures for November show first uptick in four months, but chip shortage still stifling output

The number of new cars registered in the UK was up 1.7% year on year in November, ending four consecutive months of decline. 

New figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that 115,706 new cars were registered last month, up from 113,781 in the same period last year

The trade body noted, however, that this small uptick "must be viewed in the context of a weak 2020, when lockdowns impacted registrations". It also highlighted that, with the ongoing semiconductor shortage throttling new car output, the market remains 31.3% down on the pre-pandemic five-year average. 

Petrol cars claimed the largest share of the market, at 43.3% of all models registered, while diesel cars claimed just a 5.1% share. More striking was a significant uptick in electrified vehicle registrations, with demand for plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) climbing 39.7% year-on-year and battery-electric cars (BEVs) by 110%. 

PHEVs claimed a 9.3% market share overall, while BEVs accounted for 18.8% of registrations, equating to 21,726 units – more than double the proportion sold in November 2020. 

So far this year, the SMMT reports that 1,538,585 new cars have been registered in the UK, and around one in six has some form of plug-in drivetrain. Add in full hybrids – which have a 9.0% market share – and some 26.5% of the new car market is electrified.

The SMMT has repeated its call for Britain's EV charging network to be rapidly upgraded and expanded to cope with the increasing popularity of electrified vehicles. It said there is "just one standard on-street public charger installed for every 52 new plug-in cars registered over the course of this year" and that Britain's charger-to-vehicle ratio is "one of the worst among the top 10 global electric vehicle markets at the end of 2020". 

The SMMT has called on the government to impose binding targets for the improvement of the country's charging infrastructure to keep pace with growing EV demand and the phasing out of ICE vehicles over the coming years.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said a slight uptick in new car registrations doesn't mean the industry is well on the road to recovery: "What looks like a positive performance belies the underlying weakness of the market. Demand is there, with a slew of new, increasingly electrified, models launched, but the global shortage of semiconductors continues to bedevil production and therefore new car registrations.

"The industry is working flat out to overcome these issues and fulfil orders, but disruption is likely to last into next year, compounding the need for customers to place orders early."

Hawes' comments come as lead times for most mainstream new cars are significantly longer than usual, with many manufacturers severely constrained by a lack of necessary components. 

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He also renewed his appeal for an improved EV charger network: "The continued acceleration of electrified vehicle registrations is good for the industry, the consumer and the environment but, with the pace of public charging infrastructure struggling to keep up, we need swift action and binding public charger targets so that everyone can be part of the electric vehicle revolution, irrespective of where they live."

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HiPo 289 6 December 2021

For anyone struggling to get their head round all this data, it’s worth checking the SMMT website which carries all this information.  The big take-out for November 2021 is surely that diesel has dropped off a cliff and is now 5% of the market.  Please, please, for the sake of your wallet, Do Not Buy A New Diesel.  Diesel is dying and in a few years, you won’t be able to give diesel cars away. 

Tom Simons 6 December 2021

Why Dont SMMT and AutoCar say, even through gritted teeth, where most of this swing is coming from. Hint: it doesn't advertise or offer traditional 'launch or PR jollies' . The company that is SO disruptive that even POTUS doesnt't mention it, suggesting GM is the tech leader,  traditional Car Journalists hiss it, and I hear german factories have posters on their walls of its CEO saying "Verk harder or he vill over-take you" :-) 


User8472 6 December 2021

I found this article totally confusing with the figures, stupid acronyms, and badly written. It was as clear as a politicians promise, or did Dianna Abbott do the maths? Petrol cars-43.3%, Diesel-5.1%, Hybrids (PHEVs; petrol/diesel engine plus battery)-9.3%, Battery cars (BEVs)-18.8%. According to my trusty Del Boy calculator, that comes to 76.5%. What has the other 23.5% of the market. E-scooters? It states demand for hybrids as gone up to 3.9.7%, what is that figure? And battery jobbies demand has gone up 110%. From what low figure? Stop these PHEVs, BEVS acronyms. Can we use proper descriptions, like Petrol, Diesel, Hybrid (break it down, petrol plus battery or diesel plus battery, and then just Battery cars. And what is a full Hybrid? It states 1,538,585 cars were registered so far this year. Can we have a clear, easy to understand explanation of the breakdown of those 1,538,585 cars. Petrol - %, Diesel -%, Hybrid-%, Battery cars- %. Guessing vans, trucks, coaches, have not been included. Or Petrol-666,207, Diesel-78,467, Hybrid-143,088, Battery - whatever. The article clubs together Hybrids and EVs at 27%, should be 28.1%. (9.3%+18.8%) They are seperate sectors, you might as well put petrol and diesel together with 48.4% market share then.

Vertigo 6 December 2021
November: 115,706 cars, of which...
43.3%: petrol
18.8%: electric
10.7%: petrol mild-hybrid
9.3%: plug-in hybrid
8.3%: plugless hybrid (Prius-style)
5.1%: diesel
4.5%: diesel mild-hybrid

Year to date: 1,538,585 cars, of which...
46.8%: petrol
12.0%: petrol mild-hybrid
10.6%: electric
9.0%: plugless hybrid (Prius-style)
8.5%: diesel
6.9%: plug-in hybrid
6.2%: diesel mild-hybrid


BEV: Battery-Electric Vehicle. Pure electric, all power comes from a battery pack. Examples: any Tesla, Renault Zoe, Porsche Taycan.

PHEV: Plug-in Hybrid-Electric Vehicle. A hybrid that you can plug in to a charger. This is the only type of hybrid that can use grid electricity, so they're effectively electric vehicles with a backup combustion engine. Examples: Chevrolet Volt, Volvo T8 engine, Range Rover P400e.

HEV: Hybrid-Electric Vehicle. This is the standard hybrid, and goes by many names. Full hybrid, strong hybrid, plugless hybrid. Toyota would like you to call them self-charging hybrids, but as they literally don't have a charger, let's not. This is a hybrid you can't plug in, but has enough electric power to briefly move the vehicle without the combustion engine kicking in.
Examples: Toyota Prius, Honda Insight, Hyundai Tucson Hybrid.

MHEV: Mild Hybrid-Electric Vehicle. Doesn't have enough electric power to move the vehicle; the tiny hybrid system (typically just replacing the 12V system with 48V and a beefier alternator) is there to power the electronics while the vehicle's stationary, without needing to run the combustion engine. Sometimes the electrical system can also do some torque fill. Examples: Fiat Panda Hybrid, BMW MHT engines, Ford EcoBoost engines.

The line between HEV and MHEV can be a bit blurry, but the other types are all highly distinct, so are acronyms worth learning.