Before moving onto the latest results i.e. the January 2021 new car registrations update, let us briefly remind ourselves of the December 2020 registrations update.
December 2020 witnessed a continued increase in the registration of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), despite a continued slowdown in the sales of petrol and diesel internal combustion engine (ICE) cars.
Petrol new car registrations were down by 37.0% in December 2020, compared to December 2019. Diesel performed worse, with a 52.5% decline. Diesel market share decreased from 22.3% in December 2019 to 11.9% in December 2020. Petrol market share declined from 62.4% to 44.1% in the same period.
BEV market share increased from 3.3% in December 2019 to 16.5% in December 2020. PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) also witnessed a similar increase from 3.0% in December 2019 to 6.9% in December 2020.
January 2021 New Car Registrations
The January 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 January 2020 to January 2021 from 19.6% to 12.3%.
The same is the trend with petrol cars, witnessing a decline from 60.9% to 49.8% between January 2020 to January 2021. In terms of registrations, diesel registrations have declined by 62.1% in January 2021 compared to January 2020, with petrol registrations decreasing 50.6% in January 2021.
Given the ongoing lockdown, trading has continued to be impacted, with total registrations down 39.5% in January 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 January 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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