Electric and Hybrid Car Sales up again in October

 In News

Sales of new Alternative Fuelled Vehicles are up again in October according to the SMMT

The figures for new car sales of electric and hybrid cars are again impressive for October 2018.  AFVs reached a market share of 6.9% in October, up from last year’s figure of 5.1% (All figures published by Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders).

So far in 2018 there have been 121,606 new AFV registrations, over 20,000 up on the equivalent period last year.  However its considered that these figures may be a little distorted.

During the month, the Government confirmed that it was withdrawing the Plug-in Grant scheme for hybrids (PHEVs) and lowering the grant available for new pure electric cars.  This may have led to a slight surge in PHEV sales, however when the overall numbers are increasing anyway, it is difficult to analyse this, especially taking into account lead times for some of these cars.  Certainly we will learn more once November’s figures are published.

These figures come as the SMMT publishes new industry forecasts for AFV demand, with registrations expected to grow +82.5% from 2017 levels by 2020.  Similar growth (+88.3%) is projected for plug-in electric cars, with 92,620 new plug-in hybrid and battery electric cars expected to be sold in the same year – taking market share to around 4.0%. This is at the lower end of government’s 3-7% stated ambition, with cuts to the Grant further undermining industry’s ability to deliver this ambition.


Its good news for the industry that EV sales are rising and this is anticipated to increase further in 2019, as more cars come onto the market and as purchasers become more comfortable with the whole concept.  We are certainly seeing some fleet buyers in Lincolnshire test the water with both electric cars and vans, with many reporting that the costs work out fairly equitably by the time the lower running costs are taken into account and balanced against higher initial costs of purchase.  It is however a matter, as ever, of choosing the right vehicle for the tasks required.


Its a concern that the Government seems less keen on supporting the market than the ambitions set out in its Road to Zero strategy, which itself has been accused of being less ambitious than perhaps it should be.  It would be great to see the date for the ban on sales of new diesel and petrol cars being brought forward to 2032, however we suspect this is in practise a bit of a red herring.  Arguably, more influential might be to:

  • maintain the subsidies of the Plug-in Car Grant, the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) and the Workplace Charge Scheme (WCS) the industry needs certainty going forward;
  • maintain the favourable road fund tax regime for electric cars; and, perhaps most significantly
  • sort out the Benefit in Kind rates for electric cars – its actually going up in 2019-20 before being dramatically lowered from 2020-21 – see herethis seems to make little sense to most in the industry….although unlikely to be changed now.

We’ll see how the situation pans out over the next few months.

#EVs #PHEV #EVCharging