New Car Registrations: SMMT (April 2021): BEVs Up 566%!

Honda e electric car

Though April 2021 trading performance has improved, overall market conditions continue to remain challenging. We do not expect a marked improvement in trading performance in 2021. Recovery is still at least 6 months away!

The electric driving sector in 2021 has already witnessed an interesting start. The UK government plug-in car grant (PiCG) was reduced in March 2021. The maximum grant now available is £2,500 (reduced from £3,000).

The government is keen to encourage the uptake of affordable electric cars. The criteria for an electric vehicle (EV) to qualify has been reduced from £50,000 purchase price (RRP) to £35,000 purchase price (RRP). A pure electric car like the SEAT Mii Electric city car is a good example of an affordable EV that the government is keen to support and encourage. Your can lease a SEAT Mii Electric hatchback via e-zoomed from £146.45 + VAT. Now that is a fantastic price!

seat mii electric car
The SEAT Mii Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV) Available To Lease Via e-zoomed

Electric Cars: The Basics

For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:

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Before moving onto the latest results i.e. the April 2021 new car registrations update, let us briefly remind ourselves of the March 2021 registrations update. 

smmt new car registrations
UK New Car Registrations SMMT March 2021 (credit: SMMT)

March 2021 remained upbeat for battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), despite an overall challenging trading environment.  Registrations for BEVs increased by 88.2% in March 2021 compared to March 2020. However, internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles performance continued to remain weak. Petrol new car registrations were down by 10% in March 2021, compared to March 2020.  Diesel performed worse, with a 31.4% decline. Diesel market share decreased from 17.6% in March 2020 to 10.8% in March 2021. Petrol market share declined from 60.0% to 48.4% in the same period.  

However, BEV market share increased from 4.6% in March 2020 to 7.7% in March 2021. PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) also witnessed a similar increase from 2.7% in March 2020 to 6.1% in March 2021.

April 2021 New Car Registrations (SMMT)

The April 2021 new car registrations update from The Society of Motor traders and Manufacturers (SMMT), is a continuation of the trend witnessed over the past 18 months i.e. the sales of plug-in electric cars continues to gain significant momentum. The registrations of pure electric cars (also known as battery-electric vehicles) has increased by a whopping 566.1% in April 2021, compared to April 2020 (9,152 BEVs registered in April 2021, compared to 1,374 in April 2020). The registrations of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) has also increased, from 95 PHEVs registered in April 2020, compared to 9,600 PHEVs registered in April 2021.

vw id3 electric car
The VW ID.3 Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV) Available To Lease Via e-zoomed

Apart from an increase in customer confidence in electric driving, the increase in the availability of a larger portfolio of plug-in electric cars, has also fuelled the increase in registration of EVs. There is an abundance of EVs on sale to include, all-electric SUVs, all-electric hatchbacks, all-electric saloons and more. Similar models are also available as PHEV variants. The arrival of popular models like the all-electric VW ID.3 hatchback has certainly contributed to the increased momentum. You can lease the ID.3 via e-zoomed at a fantastic price.

Though the trading performance has improved, albeit, slightly (up 16.2%), we expect trading conditions to continue to remain challenging for the remainder of 2021. We expect recovery to take at least 6 months, if not longer. April 2021 performance is still below the 10 year average. The easing of lockdown restrictions will certainly help, but it is not a guarantee that we will return to normal in 2021. Another lockdown is possible.

The lack of zero-emission electric cars and plug-in hybrid electric cars on the April 2021 Best-Sellers list, is a firm reminder that much work needs to be done by all stakeholders to achieve a comprehensive migration to zero-emission electric driving in the UK.

SMMT new car registrations April 2021
UK New Car Registrations SMMT April 2021 (credit: SMMT)

SMMT new car registrations April 2021
UK New Car Registrations SMMT April 2021 (credit: SMMT)

UK New Car Registrations SMMT April 2021 (credit: SMMT)

smmt new car registrations
UK New Car Registrations SMMT April 2021 (credit: SMMT)

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Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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