13 December 2021
Electric Cars: Key Facts And Stats
The electric vehicle (EV) market is without doubt the hot mover in the motoring industry and despite the dual-turmoil caused by the pandemic and Brexit, EV sales have continued to thrive in 2021, to the point where it is undeniable that people are now switched on to this being the best time to make the transition to electric.
In line with this, November 2021 saw extensive market statistics released by nextgreencar.com, offering a comprehensive breakdown of how the EV market is growing in the UK. Here we will take a look at some of the headline stats to come out of this revealing study.
Increased EV sales
At the end of October 2021 there were 345,000 100% electric cars being driven on UK roads. If you add plug-in hybrid vehicles to this (PHEVs) then the total figure is 675,000. There is definitely an upwards trend to be highlighted here, because 2020 saw the biggest increase in EV take-up yet, with 175,000 new EVs registered, a 66% increase on 2019. And this huge growth is despite the major disruption of both COVID and Brexit.
Increased market percentage share for EVs
The motor industry was badly affected by those unpredictable trading constraints in 2020, but in terms of market share, we can see that EVs were affected less than any other vehicle segment, and this has continued through 2021. The market share of new EV registrations (both 100% electric and PHEVs) grew from 13% in January 2021 to 23% in October 2021. This of course coincided with the recent fuel crisis, where people frantically queuing up for fuel in forecourts realised that driving an electric car and charging from the comfort of your own home, could avoid all this. This increase in market share is not a recent trend though. In 2015 EV sales represented just 1.1% of annual new car sales, but this is now up to 17% (YTD) on an annual basis, with more results to come before 2021 is complete. This not only reflects the increase in demand for EVs, but also the decrease in demand for petrol and diesel vehicles.
The best-selling EV brands in the UK
For many years the Nissan Leaf was the best-selling 100% electric car, and to date it has accumulated 31,450 sales in the UK. But in the last five years this has been overtaken by the Mitsubishi Outlander, which now has 40,400 UK sales. However, this is a PHEV, so while it is great for reducing emissions, the Leaf still sits proudly as the most popular 100% electric vehicle in the UK.
That said, in terms of 2021 EV sales, the Tesla Model 3 is comfortably the best-selling EV of the year, with 9,000 sales compared to its nearest challenger, the Nissan Leaf with 3,000 units sold. Overall, while the Leaf is still the best-selling all-electric car it has some serious challengers to its throne. Most of the major manufacturers are now concentrating all their development on electric cars, and sales-wise the BMW 3300, the Volvo XC90, the BMW i3 and the Renault Zoe are all closing in on the Leaf’s all-time crown in the UK.
Improving the EV charging infrastructure in the UK
Of course the EV boom would be nowhere without a corresponding investment in electric charging infrastructure, and this also points towards EV sales and market share % increasing further over the next decade. The nextgreencar.com figures claim there to be 26,863 public charge points in the UK at the end of October 2021 (which includes on-street chargers, shopping/leisure centres, motorway services, workplace chargers and dedicated charging hubs) and considering most people still charge their EVs at home, this is quite an impressive improvement in the national EV network and the convenience of EV drivers being able to charge.
The split of charge points can be broken down to 15,000 fast charging points (offering 7-22kW of charge), 6,500 slow charging points (offering 3-5kW charge), 4,000 rapid charging points (offering 25-99kW charge) and 1,300 ultra-rapid charging points (offering anything over 100kW of charge). This means people have more and more choice as to where and when they can stop to charge, at their convenience, and coupled with developing technology improving battery range in terms of mileage, this all points to the electric revolution gathering an unstoppable pace.
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