Electric car sales UK: one in five new cars is now an EV

Published: 05 July 2022

► Electric car sales continue to grow
► One in five new cars in H1 was an EV
► Pure electric cars now 14% of sales

The take-up of electric cars continues to rise in the UK with new industry figures proving that more than a fifth of registrations in the first half of 2022 were electric vehicles (EVs).

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has announced that 14.4% of all registrations so far this year were for pure battery electric vehicles (BEV) with plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) accounting for 6.4% of the UK market.

In an overall market that shrank by nearly 12%, the sale of BEVs enjoyed the biggest growth in any fuel type, with 56% more registrations in the first six months:

Electric car sales figures UK (SMMT)

It’s a sign of how quickly Britons are adopting EVs, even in the extremely distorted marketplace still suffering in the wake of Brexit, Covid, the microchip shortage and war in Ukraine. The SMMT reported that June 2022 sales slumped by 24% to just 140,958 units, making it the worst June since 1996.

Electric car sales UK: more BEVs, fewer PHEVs

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, ‘The semiconductor shortage is stifling the new car market even more than last year’s lockdown. Electric vehicle demand continues to be the one bright spot, as more electric cars than ever take to the road, but while this growth is welcome it is not yet enough to offset weak overall volumes, which has huge implications for fleet renewal and our ability to meet overall carbon reduction targets.

‘With motorists facing rising fuel costs, however, the switch to an electric car makes ever more sense and the industry is working hard to improve supply and prioritise deliveries of these new technologies given the savings they can afford drivers.’

The bestselling electric cars are revealed in the latest SMMT figures, too. Notice how the electric Tesla Model Y was second in June 2022 – and also in the top 10 for the year to date, with cars like the Kia Niro (available as a hybrid or full BEV) also a firm staple in the top 10.

Bestselling electric cars in the UK revealed

If you’re thinking of plugging in, be sure to check out our guides to how to go electric in the following stories.

Further electric car reading

The best electric cars and EVs on sale today

What it’s really like to live with an electric car

How much does it cost to charge an EV?

The best cheap electric cars

Long range electric cars

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, car news magnet, crafter of words