Source: Getty Images

There are concerns that the popularity of pure electric powered cars is failing to keep up with market growth

The advance of electric vehicles continues, with the category – including hybrids – representing just under 37% of all new registrations in March, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
However, there are concerns that the popularity of pure electric powered cars is failing to keep up with market growth.
New cars on UK roads grew for the 20th month in a row, latest figures from the trade body show.
A total of 317,786 registrations were recorded in March, traditionally the busiest month of the year due to the new numberplate. This was a 10.4% increase on last year.
It was the best March performance since 2019, although registrations were still more than 30% below the pre-pandemic level.
Registrations of electric vehicles soared to more than 117,000, from just under 102,000 in 2023, with hybrids and plug-in hybrids showing the biggest year-on-year growth at 19.6% and 36.7%, respectively.
By contrast, registrations of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) increased by only 3.8%, with their market share falling by a percentage point to 15.2%, although they still notched up their highest recorded volume.
The SMMT is worried by the fall in BEV market share in an expanding market, saying it “underscores the need for government to support consumers to speed up fleet renewal”. It argues that large fleets continue to drive BEV uptake, thanks to compelling tax incentives, but “a tough economic backdrop makes it ever more challenging for consumers to invest in these new technologies”.
Petrol cars remain the most popular category with a market share of 55.7%, although this is slightly down on March 2023. Diesel sales continue to fall – a 2.7% drop in volumes in March means the segment now represents just 7.3% of the market.