March was also a month when EVs represented 16.1% of new car registrations – an increase of 78.7% compared to the same month last year – according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). This equates to 39,315 new BEVs – the highest volume of BEV registrations ever recorded in a single month, and this means that more BEVs were registered in March 2022 than during all of 2019.
Plug-in hybrid (PHEVs) registrations declined by 7.5% to 16,037 units, but hybrids (HEVs) grew 28.4% to 27,737 units. As a result, ‘electrified’ vehicles comprised more than a third (34.1%) of all new car registrations. Only 25,305 new diesel or mild hybrid diesel cars were registered in March.
Overall, UK new car registrations fell by 14.3% to 243,479 units in March – the weakest March since 1998. There’s lots of demand for new cars, but supply has been constrained by the global semiconductor shortage, and now the crisis in Ukraine is also having an impact on vehicle production.
While private registrations grew by 8.2% in the month, March 2021 had seen showrooms closed due to social distancing regulations. Large fleet registrations, meanwhile, declined by 34.4%, but business registrations grew by 20.0% as manufacturers prioritised private consumer and smaller business orders.
Apart from Tesla, there were other winners from the latest SMMT figures. Kia is the number one best-selling car brand in the UK year-to-date, with EVs representing 18% of all Kia cars sold this quarter.
The Vauxhall Vivaro-e remains the UK’s best-selling new electric Light Commercial Vehicle (e-LCV) so far in 2022, although Peugeot claims it is the market leader in Q1 2022 for all electric van sales.