17.9% of new cars electric in May finds New AutoMotive: comments

Colin Walker is available for further comment and interview.

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By Colin Walker


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Commenting on analysis by New AutoMotive which reveals that sales of electric vehicles (EV) reached 17.9% of the new vehicle market share in May [1], Colin Walker Head of Transport, Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said:

“The Government’s ‘ZEV mandate’ is having the desired effect with manufacturers competing for customers by discounting their vehicles to hit their targets. While sales of petrol cars plummet, EV sales are rising, and prices are falling – enabling more people to make the switch to cheaper, cleaner driving.

“The likes of BMW, Mercedes, Hyundai and Toyota are easily meeting their targets, but just as with other industries it’s those who were slow to embrace the future that will need to work harder to catch up. This intense competition will continue to improve choice and bring down costs for British drivers. Rather than the war on motorists, this is a war for motorists.

“This is all good news for the 80% of us who get our vehicles on the second hand market. The more new EVs are sold, the faster the used market will then grow, enabling more and more households to escape paying the ‘petrol premium’ that comes from filling a car at the pump, and enjoy the hundreds of pounds of savings that come from charging an EV. [2]

“Sales of hybrid vehicles also continue to rise, plug-in hybrids in particular. But consumers should be wary given PHEVs can cost twice as much to fuel as their manufacturers claim. [3] The fact remains that EVs are both the cleanest and cheapest form of driving”.

Also commenting, Quentin Willson, founder of FairCharge said: “I’m pleased to see that New Automotive’s data shows that the ZEV Mandate is working with May sales of EVs up at 18%. Many car makers are meeting their ZEV targets, new prices are coming down, the average discount offered to consumers is 10% and - most important - used EV prices are now at parity with petrol. One-to-five-year-old used EVs are very desirable among buyers as prices become increasingly tempting.

"As a market intervention this mandate is hugely important, looks to be functioning as designed and shows that the UK can still set a global example in the EV sector.”

Fiona Howarth, CEO of Octopus Electric Vehicles, said: “As UK drivers, we’re buying more EVs than ever - many of us on salary sacrifice schemes through our employers. This is in the face of huge misinformation. All changes are tough for those who have underinvested in the future - in this case, lagging car manufacturers. However, as much as they may fight it, electric cars are great and once drivers switch, they very rarely go back. The tech revolution that has been in your hands through smart phones has now hit the roads.

“Clearly the ZEV mandate is working. It is bringing a huge range of affordable, electric cars to drivers who desperately want them - and giving confidence to investors to continue to roll out the charging network at pace. We’re on the road to mass market EV adoption.”

Notes to editors:

1. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5e753d15b0eb84693c7e3e21/t/665ee6aa9f2d5738d0dfa6f2/1717495471949/Electric_Car_Count_-_New_AutoMotive+%2812%29.pdf

2. Recent ECIU analysis found that, despite the Chancellor’s fuel duty freeze in the March Budget, petrol car drivers are still paying hundreds of pounds more to run their vehicles than those driving electric cars: https://eciu.net/media/press-releases/2024/budget-analysis-fuel-duty-freeze-leaves-700-petrol-premium-over-driving-an-ev

3. ECIU analysis found that drivers of the UK’s top-selling plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) are likely to be spending twice as much to fuel their cars than their manufacturers have led them to believe: https://eciu.net/media/press-releases/2024/hybrid-sales-rise-but-drivers-paying-double-big-brands-stated-fuelling-costs-analysis

For more information or for interview requests:

George Smeeton, Head of Communications, ECIU, Tel: +44 (0)7894 571 153, email: george.smeeton@eciu.net