March sees record number of EVs sold

Last month saw a record number of electric vehicles registered, with 7,667 plug-in grant (PiCG) eligible models sold according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Beating the previous record – set last March – by around 500 units, the record electric registrations came at the same time as the highest ever number of monthly sales for the car industry as a whole.

Pure electric vehicles have seen a revival in fortunes when compared with PHEVs. For some time plug-in hybrids have outsold battery-electric cars each month, with the latest model breakdowns showing PHEVs outselling EVs two to one.

However, there has been a shift in recent months, with EVs improving sales, something that can’t be placed purely on the car tax changes that came into effect from 1st April. It was not a surprise that March was a record month since many buyers have got their order in before the VED change to save money. However, pure-EVs are least affected by the change, with zero-emission vehicles the only models now able to pay zero VED.

It is expected that part of the improvement in pure-EV sales is the new longer-range models that have been coming out over the past six moths. With Renault’s Zoe ZE40 leading the way in terms of range, the likes of Hyundai’s Ioniq and the BMW i3 all offer ranges far better than could have been expected a year or so ago.

Combined PiCG registrations are up almost 8% compared to last year, with the new car tax changes likely to push more drivers into plug-in vehicles.

Source: ZapMap

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