New car sales rose 1.7% year on year in November, ending four consecutive months of decline.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders reported 115,706 new cars were registered last month, up from 113,781 in the same period last year.
|The trade body noted this small uptick “must be viewed in the context of a weak 2020, when lockdowns impacted registrations”.
With the semiconductor shortage braking new car output, the market is 31.3% down on the pre-pandemic five-year average.
Petrol took 43.3% of all models registered, while diesels were just a 5.1%. More significant were electrified vehicles, with demand for plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) climbing 3.9.7% year-on-year and battery-electric cars (BEVs) by 110%.
PHEVs claimed a 9.3% market share overall, while BEVs accounted for 18.8% of registrations, equating to 21,726 units – more than double the proportion sold in November 2020.
So far this year, the SMMT reports that 1,538,585 new cars have been registered in the UK, and around one in six has some form of plug-in drivetrain.
With full hybrids which have a 9.0% market share, some 26.5% of the new car market is electrified.
|Cars powered by synthetic fuel emit as much poisonous nitrogen oxides (NOx) as fossil fuel engines, new emissions testing shows.
E-fuels, which are chemically similar to petrol and diesel and costly to produce, have been touted by the fossil fuel industry and car parts suppliers as a way to prolong the life of the internal combustion engine beyond zero-emissions targets. Green group Transport & Environment (T&E) said the tests confirm that using e-fuels in cars will do little to alleviate the air quality problems in our cities.
A car running on e-petrol emits equally high levels of toxic NOx as standard E10 EU petrol and much more carbon monoxide and ammonia, according to the tests by research organisation IFP Energies Nouvelles for T&E. While particle emissions are considerably reduced in the switch, more than two billion particles are still emitted for every kilometer driven in an e-petrol powered vehicle. The laboratory tests compared emissions from a car using petrol and three different blends of e-petrol.
RAC director of electric vehicles Sarah Winward-Kotecha said, “There’s getting away from the fact November was a disappointing month for new car sales, with the ongoing chip shortage and its impact on delivery times putting off some drivers from making purchases.
“But new registrations of electric vehicles continue to buck the overall trend with more than a quarter of a million battery and plug-in hybrid vehicles coming onto the road so far this year. It seems certain that 2021 will go down on record as a stellar year for the electric car revolution, with upwards of 50% more sold compared to the whole of 2020.
“With such clear demand among fleets and private drivers for new EVs, we’ll sadly never know just how many more might have been registered last month had it not been for the problems manufacturers are encountering with sourcing semiconductors.
“The new registration figures once again emphasise the importance of a fit-for-purpose public charging network that grows in line with the rise in EVs so that mid-trip charging is never a problem. Next year we’ll almost certainly surpass one million electric cars on the roads which will further heighten the need for fast and efficient charging away from home.”