Electrified cars exceeding diesels and going mainstream in UK car market

Following the news that the UK’s new car market was down 27.4% in the month of November, according to data released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT);

David Leggett, Automotive Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“November’s big market contraction is no surprise given the imposition of a second lockdown in England that shuttered dealers during the month. The overall decline was however, softened by ‘click and collect’ capabilities.

“GlobalData’s estimate for 2020 puts the UK’s light vehicle market at a little over 1.8 million units, around a third down on 2019’s level, illustrating the scale of the hit the market has taken this year due to the COVID-19 crisis and its economic fallout.

“However, there was some positive news in rising electric car sales in November. Battery electric vehicles (BEV) accounted for 9.1% of the UK’s new car market last month (versus 3% in November of last year) and are rapidly catching the shrinking pure diesel share (just 14% in November).

“Indeed, if we add plug-in hybrids (6.8% share) to the BEV share, electrified vehicles were at an impressive 15.9% of the UK’s new car market in November, exceeding the share of pure diesels at 14%.

“The direction of travel looks pretty clear and we’ll see the trend continue in 2021 as more electric cars go on sale. Electric cars are now moving from niche to mainstream.”

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