Electric vehicles (EVs) are continuing to buck worrying wider trends across the auto market, according to the latest monthly sales figures from the SMMT.
The trade body confirmed this morning that new UK car registrations were 20 per cent lower year-on-year last month, marking the second weakest May for the new car market since 1992, the only exception being the first year of the coronavirus pandemic when showrooms were closed.
Battery electric vehicle (EV) uptake, however, increased by 17.7 per cent last month on May 2021 and represented 12.4 per cent of all the month’s registrations. And overall, electrified vehicles accounted for three in 10 new cars, with a 25.5 per cent decline in sales of plug-in hybrids offset by the soaring popularity of EVs and a 12 per cent rise in sales on hybrids without a plug.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes welcomed the continued surge in EV sales, but warned that meeting climate goals would depend on a rapid roll-out of charging infrastructure capable of keeping pace with growing demand from EV motorists.
“To continue [EV] Momentum and drive a robust mass market for these vehicles, we need to ensure every buyer has the confidence to go electric,” he said. “This requires an acceleration in the rollout of accessible charging infrastructure to match the increasing number of plug-in vehicles , as well as incentives for the purchase of new, cleaner and greener cars.
“On net zero renewing the vehicles on our roads at pace but, with rising inflation and a squeeze on household incomes, this will be difficult unless private businesses and buyers have the confidence and encouragement to do so.”
The latest data comes on the same day as a new ultra-rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging station was officially launched near a busy transport artery South East London, after European company Fastned announced its first site in the capital was now open for business.
The charging station has six 300kW chargers that can provide EVs with 300 kilometers of range in 15 minutes, and is covered by a solar canopy that will provide clean power to the site, Fastned said.
Located just off the Woolwich Road in the London Borough of Greenwich, the station is designed to cater for local vehicles as well as traffic traveling through the busy Blackwall Tunnel, a major Thames crossing for vehicles in east London.
Fastned’s UK country manager Tom Hurst said the electric vehicle infrastructure would help London reach its climate goals.
“We’ve developed significant expertise in providing ultra-rapid charging across Europe and in the North East of England, so we’re excited to bring this experience to the capital,” he said. “London’s target of hitting net zero by 2030 is ambitious, and we’re delighted to play a part in supporting the capital as it transitions.”
The comes just weeks after the firm announced Scotland’s biggest ultra-rapid charging station at a retail park in South Lanarkshire.