by Alistair Jeff, Commercial Director

The UK car parc shrank last year, the first consecutive annual decrease in car ownership in more than 100 years. However, the EV volumes rose by 71%. Today, almost three-quarters of a million electric cars, vans, buses and trucks are on UK roads.

A  million is an impressive number, but it represents just one in 50 cars on the road today; but I suspect things will start to change very quickly.

It would be easy to look to the Government’s announcement last year that it would bring forward the ban of new petrol and diesel cars and vans to 2030, with hybrid sales gaining a stay of execution to 2035 will be part of this shift as the reason. However, I suspect it boils down to economics and availability.

  • The ‘£100 fill-up’ is already biting and highlights the value of an EV (even if electric prices are rising)
  • Clear Air Zones costs will add to the pain for many older petrol and diesel car users
  • In terms of availability, Fiat’s announcement on May 30th that from July 1st, it will cease sales of all non-electrified models in the UK is a perfect illustration of the momentum shift emerging.

Given the SMMT’s average vehicle age expectancy of 14 years, the used car market’s pendulum will swing towards EVs increasingly in the coming years. It is something that is happening. 2022 Q1 used sales rose 5.1%, according to the latest SMMT data. Within this, it was a record first quarter for used battery electric vehicles, up 120%, while sales for plug-in hybrids and hybrids rose by 35.3% and 28.8%, respectively.

The change is happening, and it is set to accelerate.