Sales of battery electric vehicles an plug-in hybrids rise as overall market slumps in March

Tue 07 April 2020 View all news

Sales of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) tripled and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) rose by 38% (year-on-year) in March against the backdrop of a 44% slump in registrations of new cars to the UK market. BEVs accounted for 4.6% of the UK market, while PHEVs took 2.7%.

On a year-to-date basis, BEV registrations have doubled compared with the first quarter of 2019 while PHEV registrations are up nearly 60%. 

However, the new car market fell by 44.4%, more than during the last financial crisis and the worst March since the late 1990s according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT).

Observers say that the electric Tesla Model 3 was the 9th best-selling car model during March 2020. That position is listed as 'Other' in the SMMT statistics. Tesla is not a member and does not report its sales direct to the trade body.

Mike Hawes, SMMT's Chief Executive, said that the overall decline has come as “no surprise” due to the UK’s lockdown.

Reported by 'Current' he said: “We should not, however, draw long term conclusions from these figures other than this being a stark realisation of what happens when economies grind to a halt.”

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