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One in Five of All New Cars During January Were Plug-In

A total of 14,433 new battery electric vehicles were registered in January 2022, out of a total of 115,087 vehicles – that equates to 12.5% of new cars. In comparison, 6,260 new BEVs were registered a year earlier in January 2021.

A further 9,047 plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) were registered, giving a total of 23,480 plug-in vehicles out of the total of 115,087 – so around 20%, or one in five, new vehicles registered in January had a plug.

The latest market outlook, which forecasts registrations of BEVs and PHEVs to grow by 61% and 42% respectively in 2022, means that, by the end of the year, almost one in four new cars would come with a plug. There are now more than 140 plug-in car models available to UK buyers, with almost 50 more scheduled for release in 2022.

According to these latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) only 11,740 new diesel and mild-hybrid diesel vehicles were registered in January. Global semiconductor shortages continued to impact supply as the year started so EV registrations could theoretically have been higher. Manufacturers are said to have prioritised vehicles for private buyers.

Over the last year other challenges for motorists wanting new cars included new trading arrangements and COVID impacts, including closed showrooms and staff shortages. However thanks to the move to electric vehicles, during 2021 average new car CO2 emissions fell by 11.2% to their lowest ever recorded level of 119.7g/km.

Overall, total new car registrations in 2022 are expected to rise 15.2% on 2021, to 1.897 million units. In 2023 the market is projected to climb above two million units for the first time since 2019. Sales of electric vehicles in 2023 are likely to surpass expectations once again.