Comment: response to the SMMT’s new car sales figures for November 2023

Colin Walker is available for further comment and interview.

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By Colin Walker

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Commenting on the SMMT’s new car sales figures for November 2023 [1] Colin Walker, Head of Transport at the Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit, said,

“The fall we’ve seen in EV sales in November 2023 appears to be a blip. After all, year to date EV sales in 2023 are almost 30% higher than where year to date sales were in November 2022.

"However, this should be seen as a warning sign – this dip in sales could well be a consequence of the dent in consumer and industry confidence that followed the UK Government’s U-turn on the 2030 phase out date earlier in the year. It may well also be a consequence of the torrent of misinformation about EVs to which consumers are exposed, and which often goes unchallenged.

"Last night’s passing into law of the Zero Emission Vehicle mandate undoes some of the damage, and provides the car industry with the regulatory certainty they have been craving. It will also speed up the growth of the second-hand market, which is where the majority of UK households will be able to afford to make the transition to EV ownership. Recent research by the ECIU has found that the fuel savings available from second hand EVs are worth £1,100 a year in 2023, and will rise to £1,350 by the end of the decade as electricity prices fall and petrol prices continue to steadily rise [2]. The ZEV Mandate will play a vital role in helping UK families access and enjoy the savings that come from owning an EV.

"We now need to see the UK Government follow up on its plans to support the transition by ensuring the UK’s charging infrastructure continues to develop, and to work with industry and others to tackle the myths that circulate about EVs and EV ownership”.

Notes to editors:

  2. The UK's second-hand car market, ECIU,

For more information or for interview requests:
Colin Walker, Head of Transport, ECIU, Tel: 07779 284912, email: