Battery electric vehicle registrations hit record high

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The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has reported a 10.4% increase in new car registrations for March, marking the best performance since 2019 and continuing the 20-month streak of growth.

The upsurge is primarily attributed to fleet investment.

Industry experts are calling for incentives to boost the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), as the growth of battery electric cars (BEVs) stalls despite reaching record-high registration volumes.

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) saw a notable increase, reaching record levels with a 19.6% rise, while plug-in hybrids experienced a growth of over a third.

However, BEVs’ market share dropped by 1% compared to the same period last year, accounting for 15.2% of all new registrations.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “Market growth continues, fuelled by fleets investing after two tough years of constrained supply. A sluggish private market and shrinking EV market share, however, show the challenge ahead.

“Manufacturers are providing compelling offers, but they can’t single-handedly fund the transition indefinitely.

“Government support for private consumers – not just business and fleets – would send a positive message and deliver a faster, fairer transition on time and on target.”

Kim Royds, Mobility Director at Centrica, said: “The launch of the new number plate has seen an uptick in new car registrations, particularly within the electric vehicle market.

“EVs have continued to increase their market share since the start of the year as more drivers reap the benefits of going electric. The challenge now is to encourage all motorists to make the switch.

“To do this, we must tackle the inequality that exists between at home and public charging. A significant number of homeowners don’t have access to a driveway and are therefore restricted from ease-of-use charging solutions to make their electric dream a reality.

“Creating at home and kerbside charge point solutions with affordable charging costs must be a priority for industry leaders and policy makers to ensure that nobody is left behind.”

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