One in 10 new cars sold in the UK in October was a hybrid or electric vehicle, bolstered by sales of battery-powered cars tripling, latest figures show.
So-called alternatively fuelled vehicles accounted for 9.9 percent of the market, up from 6.9% in the same month a year earlier, as demand for green vehicles climbed against the backdrop of falling overall sales.
New car sales in Britain fell 6.7 percent last month compared to October 2018, figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders released on Tuesday showed.
While the bloodbath in the UK automotive sector continues unabated, the sale of electric cars defy the macro trend. It is true that the ‘absolute’ volumes of the sale of green cars in the UK is relatively small compared to internal combustion engine (ICE) diesel and petrol cars, but it is nevertheless a significant achievement. New car registrations in October 2019 fell by an astounding 6.7 percent compared to October 2018, while the sales of alternatively fuelled vehicles like battery electric vehicles (BEVs) galloped at a whopping 151.8%.
In fact, in our view, the sales of all-electric cars would have been significantly higher if indeed supply of new models were at higher levels. There is absolutely no doubt that the demand for eco friendly cars is far in excess of the current production quantities. Automotive manufacturers have certainly been surprised by the robust demand levels, but it is critical they ramp up the manufacturing volumes at the soonest.
There are many reasons for the strong performance of electric cars in the UK. These include:
- Consumers demand environmentally friendly products. They have certainly come to the conclusion (finally!) that diesel cars have a terrible impact on the environment, in particular air pollution and do not want to harm their loved ones from the pollution of diesel and petrol cars.
- Consumers have much greater confidence in the range and performance of the latest EV models. In fact, ‘range anxiety’ is fast being discarded to history!
- Consumers want to take advantage of the UK government plug-in car grant (PiCG) incentive to reduce the cost of acquiring a green car.
We strongly believe that the market share of electric cars will continue to increase rapidly in the immediate term and by the end of 2020, alternatively fuelled cars will continue to lead the UK new registration market.
A surge in the electric vehicle demand within the next three years will require the UK to launch its first full-scale gigafactory for battery production, according to the boss of a research institute backed by the government.
Neil Morris, chief executive of the Harwell-based Faraday Institution, believes an accelerated demand for electric vehicles through to 2023 means the UK will need to secure investment for a first of its kind 15 GWh gigafactory to ensure a steady supply of batteries in the future.
Neil Morris is certainly correct in his assertion, in that, it is just not the manufacturing of the electric cars that will scale, but all segments of the value chain will witness a similar expansion. The most vital component of an electric car is the battery, which in most models is a lithium-ion battery. Apart from the technological importance of a battery in operating a battery electric vehicle, an EV battery also contributes to nearly 60% of the cost of an all-electric car. Battery supply and costs will continue to remain significant themes in the adoption of electric vehicles. If the EV industry successfully delivers on stable and increased battery supply and lower costs, then indeed, the potential of significant mass adoption of zero-emission road transportation fast becomes a reality.
We certainly support and encourage any deployment of battery manufacturing capability within the UK, however, not convinced if the UK’s higher labour cost base compared to lower cost regions like Asia, will allow the UK to deliver on competitively priced EV batteries. Despite the level of automation in the manufacturing process, labour costs and other fixed operating costs cannot be removed.
Is the UK really in a position to competitively supply EV batteries? This is the million-dollar question that needs to be answered!
We at e-zoomed are more than happy to assist you with all your EV needs to include:
- Compare and buy an electric car in the UK
- Compare affordable electric car finance and lease deals in the UK
- Compare and buy best electric car insurance deals in the UK
- Compare and buy best electric car breakdown cover in the UK
- Compare and buy green electricity for your home and electric vehicle
- Compare and buy best priced electric car charging cables and EV accessories
And more! Do sign up to our e-newsletter to learn more about electric cars. Also follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.