Before moving onto the latest results i.e. the February 2021 new car registrations update, let us briefly remind ourselves of the January 2021 registrations update.
January 2021 was a strong start to the year for battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), despite an overall challenging trading environment.
However, internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles did not start the year on a strong note. Petrol new car registrations were down by 50.6% in January 2021, compared to January 2020. Diesel performed worse, with a 62.1% decline. Diesel market share decreased from 19.6% in January 2020 to 12.3% in January 2021. Petrol market share declined from 60.9% to 49.8% in the same period.
BEV market share increased from 2.7% in January 2020 to 6.9% in January 2021. PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) also witnessed a similar increase from 3.2% in January 2020 to 6.8% in January 2021.
February 2021 New Car Registrations
The February 2021 new car registrations update from The Society of Motor traders and Manufacturers (SMMT), is a continuation of the trend witnessed throughout last year i.e. diesel cars further declining in market share between February 2020 to February 2021 from 21.8% to 13.2%.
The same is the trend with petrol cars, witnessing a decline from 60.6% to 52.1% between February 2020 to February 2021. In terms of registrations, diesel registrations declined by 61.0% in February 2021 compared to February 2020, with petrol registrations decreasing 44.5% in February 2021.
Given the ongoing lockdown, trading has continued to be impacted, with total registrations down 35.5% in February 2021, compared to the previous year. We expect trading conditions to continue to remain challenging for the 1st half of the year in 2021, as the UK continues to contain the impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
However, we do expect the sale of pure electric cars and hybrid electric cars to perform well during this period, if indeed supply risks and bottlenecks are mitigated successfully by automotive manufacturers.
The lack of zero-emission electric cars and plug-in hybrid electric cars in the February 2021 SMMT Best Sellers list, is a firm reminder that much work needs to be done by all stakeholders to achieve large scale zero-emission electric driving in the UK.
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