UK electric car sales hit record month with more EVs sold than in whole of 2019

Frustrated BBC caller questions value of electric cars

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British drivers registered nearly 40,000 new electric vehicles last month. This in turn made March’s figures the highest on record for a single month.

The data also marked a 79 percent increase from March 2021 and found that battery-powered cars now account for one in six registrations.

The evidence of the soaring demand for battery electric cars was provided by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), a lobby group.

Across all of 2019, Britons bought 37,850 electric vehicles.

In March 2022 alone there were 39,315 sales.

It is now estimated by some analysts that battery EVs will become the most popular fuel type as soon as 2025.

Hybrid electric vehicles also grew by nearly 30 percent to some 28,000 cars, although plug-in hybrid registrations declined by around eight percent.

The figures obtained in March have provided some hope for the car industry at a time when it has struggled for more than a year with computer chip supply bottlenecks.

However, the SMTT reported that the overall figure for car sales last month declined by 14.3 percent to 243,470 units, the weakest March figure for 14 years.

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The lobby group added that a pandemic-related shortage of semiconductors and the uncertainty around the Russian invasion of Ukraine, has meant that supplies of new cars have been held up.

It also warned that rising energy costs, fuel costs, inflation and squeeze on household incomes could also have an effect on future demand.

SMMT’s Chief Executive Mike Hawes said: “March is typically the biggest month of the year for the new car market, so this performance is deeply disappointing and lays bare the challenges ahead.

“With increasing household and business costs, Government must do all it can to support consumers so that the growth of electric vehicles can be sustained and the UK’s ambitious net zero timetable delivered.”

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