Home Estate Planning Electric vehicle sales tumbled in January as private buyers opted out

Electric vehicle sales tumbled in January as private buyers opted out

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New electric vehicle (EV) registrations by private buyers fell by a quarter in January, as high costs continue to perturb customers.

The latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealed the steep dip in private retail demand, which came despite the UK registering its one millionth electric car last month.

The trade body said it now expected battery electric models’ market share to reduce to 21 per cent in 2024, down from a previous 23.3 per cent forecast.

The downturn comes at a critical time for the automotive industry, which is preparing for looming UK and European deadlines on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles.

Energy prices, inflation, interest rates and driver angst over the limited availability of public chargepoints ha srestricted demand, although 100,000 more BEVs will still reach the road in 2024 compared with the year prior.

Some 142,000 new cars were registered in total in the UK in January, up nearly 11,000 on the same month last year and the 18th consecutive monthly rise.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “It’s taken just over 20 years to reach our million EV milestone – but with the right policies, we can double down on that success in just another two.”

Hawes urged the government to support private EV buyers by temporarily halving VAT, which he said would “cut carbon, drive economic growth and help everyone make the switch.”

“Manufacturers have been asked to supply the vehicles, we now ask government to help consumers buy the vehicles on which net zero depends.”

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