New Car Registrations 2019: Electric Vehicles Continue Meteoric Rise!

new car registrations UK

The First Nine Months Has Been Challenging For The U.K. New Car Registrations Market, With Diesel Registrations Continuing The Rapid Decline to Obsolescence.  However, All-Electric Cars Registrations Continue to Skyrocket With An Increase Of More Than 122%! 

Electric Cars: The Basics

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

Sign up to the e-zoomed Electric Living newsletter

As I looked out from the 27th floor of my office building overlooking St James’s park in central London, I was reminded that autumn is well underway and time to reflect on the performance of the U.K. automotive market in 2019.  

Earlier in October, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) had released the latest figures for the U.K. new car market.  For most looking at the update, the news would have been unwelcomed.  However, for me, I was rather pleased with the update!   

Indeed, for anyone concerned with the devastating impact of the high levels of air pollution on their loved ones, the continued rapid decline of diesel registrations is an early Christmas present. 

  • Diesel market share has continued to plummet in 2019.  The market share dropped from 31.7%  in 2018 to 25.8%.  In fact, diesel new car registrations declined by 20.3% in September 2019 compared to September 2018.  Good riddance to …….! 
  • However despite the continued annihilation of the diesel sector, the all-electric, battery electric vehicle (BEV) segment, witnessed a stupendous increase of 236.4% in September 2019 compared to September 2018.  In fact year-to-date pure electric car registrations are up a feverish 122.1%! According to the SMMT “There was good news for the battery electric cars (BEVs), which saw the biggest percentage growth of all fuel types, up 236.14% (5,414 units) as new models boosted registrations.”
  • The combined market share for BEVs and PHEVs has now crossed 2.5% and edging fast to 3%.  Total units sold so far in 2019: 47,870. 
  • With the increase in available models and volumes of battery electric vehicles in 2020, we predict the market share will increase substantially.  In fact, if automotive manufacturers had manufactured larger volumes of ultralow-emission vehicles (ULEVs), in particular BEVs in 2019, the all-electric car market share would have been a lot more.  And this is the point, the fierce positive momentum of the rapid adoption of EVs has only been held back due to supply constraints.
  • A case in point is the Kia all-electric e-Niro.  The allocated supply for the U.K. market was sold out in less than a month, with many eager customers now having to wait till 2020  for deliveries for orders placed now. Boardrooms at mainstream automotive manufactures like Kia Motors, have hugely underestimated the latent demand as consumers shy away from polluting vehicles and migrate to zero-emission road transportation.  
the all electric kia e niro car
The All-Electric Kia e-Niro SUV (credit: Kia)
  • The SMMT was quick to point out that ‘Brexit uncertainty stifles consumer confidence’.  While we do not disagree with this assertion, we do believe there are other valid reasons, to include the lack of availability of significant volumes of BEVs that have also contributed to the lacklustre performance of the U.K. market.  Bottom-line, many potential buyers rather wait for a zero-emission electric car, instead of rushing today to buy a pollution diesel or petrol car!  

Featured Articles

Featured Products


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.

Buy Electric Driving Products

Sign up for e-zoomed news and offers

This site uses technical cookies to guarantee an optimal and fast navigation, and analysis cookies to elaborate statistics.
You can visit the Cookie Policy to get more insights or to block the use of all or some cookies, by selecting the Cookie Settings.
By choosing Accept, you give your permission to use the abovementioned cookies.

Privacy Settings saved!
Privacy Settings

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Control your personal Cookie Services here.

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

In order to use this website we use the following technically required cookies
  • wordpress_test_cookie
  • wordpress_logged_in_
  • wordpress_sec

Decline all Services
Accept all Services