UK new car registrations continued to decline in August, but electric and hybrid sales surged
James Attwood, digital editor
5 September 2019

UK new car sales dipped by just 1.6% in August, while sales of electric and hybrid cars continued to surge.

In total, 92,573 cars were registered last month, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), 1521 fewer than in August 2018.

While the decline is notably lower than the 3.4% average decline for 2019 to date, Autocar understands that the numbers might have been raised by manufacturers pre-registering cars ahead of the next phase of tighter EU emissions regulations that came into force this month.

Demand for petrol cars remained stable, with the 59,019 registrations, up 1% year on year and accounting for 65.5% of all cars registered this year. By contrast, diesel registrations fell by 12.2%, the 29th consecutive month of decline. Diesel cars now account for 27.0% of all cars registered in the UK so far this year.

The market was boosted by the continued rise in demand for electric and hybrid cars. Electric registrations rose by 377.5% to 3147 units, while sales of hybrid cars increased by 36.2% year on year to 4014. By contrast, plug-in hybrid sales continued to decline since the Government cut subsidies for them, with the 907 registered in August representing a 71.8% decline on the same month last year.

Despite the increases, electrified cars still represent a relatively small portion of the UK new car market. The 17,393 battery-electric cars sold so far in 2019 represent 1.1% of the total market, with hybrids accounting for 4.0% and plug-in hybrids 1.2%. Those figures are expected to grow rapidly as manufacturers launch an increasing number of electrified cars in the coming months.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes called the increased in EV registrations “especially welcome” in a traditionally quiet month for the car market. But he added: “These figures also show the scale of the challenges ahead. It’s a long road to zero [emissions] and while manufacturers can deliver the technology, they can’t dictate the pace of uptake.

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“To support a smooth transition and deliver environmental gains now, we need a long-term government commitment to measures that give consumers confidence to invest in the latest technologies that best suit their needs.”

Read more

July UK new car registrations: EV sales rise sharply

New car registrations: first half of 2018 down 6.3%

UK government won't reinstate plug-in hybrid grants

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Comments
9

5 September 2019

"with the 907 registered in August representing a 71.8% decline on the same month last year." that's all you need to know about tax dodging plug-in Hybrids.

 

5 September 2019

I think the decline in PHev sales in August has more to do with the lack of supply, rather than the removal of the Government grant.  The low BIK liability of a PHev still remains an attractive incentive for company car drivers.  I have recently given up on an order for a XC60 T8 PHev as delivery kept going  back,  and was last estimated for March next year.  The nil Bik taxation for zero emission cars from April 1st next year has however been sufficient incentive for me to make the jump to a full EV. Given the substantial personal tax saving to come, I am sure others will follow.

     

 

5 September 2019

For that to be true then most if not all makes of PHEV's would have to have supply problems in August which would be some coincidence.

5 September 2019

So all this relentless talk about electric cars, and with those enourmous subsidies, and they still only represent 1.1% of sales?

 

In spite of Autocar's obsession with embracing what it has bought in to as the future, I am thoroughtly unconvinced there is actually a market for all the things that are appearing.

 

 

5 September 2019

I say that in the context that 5 of the 10 articles on the front page of the website are about electric vehicles, and that doesn't include the Hybrid NSX article.

5 September 2019
eseaton wrote:

I say that in the context that 5 of the 10 articles on the front page of the website are about electric vehicles, and that doesn't include the Hybrid NSX article.

And in the review section 4 out of 10 cars were £150,000+ wonder what percentage they made up of the market?

5 September 2019

Why an obsolete Golf 7 used in this article while Model 3 made a thundering start in England? Almost 2000 units in August.

6 September 2019
Come on Autocar! Will it kill you to acknowledge that Tesla has sold more Model 3 in August than your pesky Polo?
In fact, reports suggest, Model 3 was number 3 in the sales chart. That is news! Much better than rebranding of a brand in an attempt to wash off its crimes against industry and humanity.

6 September 2019
fadyady wrote:

Come on Autocar! Will it kill you to acknowledge that Tesla has sold more Model 3 in August than your pesky Polo? In fact, reports suggest, Model 3 was number 3 in the sales chart. That is news! Much better than rebranding of a brand in an attempt to wash off its crimes against industry and humanity.

I've 'heard a rumour' on the net (yes I know that's a crap source etc) that the SMMT didn't want to acknowledge that Tesla got a car in the top 10 and will be down playing it.  It plays to advertise (and maybe be a member of SMMT) 

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