Electric vehicle (EV) sales reached record levels during lockdown, according to new research by Cornwall Insight.
Data published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealed that despite there being a 97% decline in total vehicle sales during the lockdown period, there continues to be a strong demand for EVs.
1,375 EVs were registered in April, accounting for 32% of all new vehicle registrations, outselling diesel cars for the first time.
June also saw the second-highest month of EV registrations ever recorded, with 8,903 new vehicle registrations.
Cornwall Insight have said that these trends give us a glimpse into the future of EV sales.
Katie Hickford, an analyst at Cornwall Insight, said: ‘Resilient demand for EVs appears to be driven by four key factors.
‘From 6 April, changes to the Benefit in Kind company car tax means zero-emission vehicles pay no tax in 2020-2021, providing an incentive for businesses to transition their fleets.
‘Also, there have been changes to the Plug-in grant in the March 2020 Budget, meaning that hybrid cars with fewer than 70 zero-emission miles are no longer eligible for funding.
‘Uptake is further improved by an increased range of vehicle models available, meaning a greater choice for both consumers and businesses. These newer vehicles bring with them an improved vehicle range, making them much more of an attractive proposition to customers.
‘Perhaps more importantly, during this COVID-19 period, is that EVs still have longer lead times between ordering and delivery compared to petrol and diesel cars. Although this is starting to improve many vehicles will have been pre-ordered and therefore less impacted by the lockdown.
‘The last few months have provided a snapshot of how EV sales may look in a few years, where the expectation is that BEVs will account for a third of monthly new vehicle registrations. However, whether the government’s EV uptake measures can boost uptake and defy the economic conditions is yet to be seen.’
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