Electric cars lose share as private sales fall

Sales of electric cars are failing to keep up with the wider market, figures show, as the industry renewed calls for the government to provide incentives for private buyers.

Some 15.2% of new cars registered in March were battery electric vehicles, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said, down from 16.2% a year earlier.

While registrations of electric cars to company fleet buyers increased, sales to individuals fell.

Sales of all types of cars – including petrol, diesel and hybrids – rose in March, which is typically the busiest month of the year as new number plates are introduced.

The number sold increased by 10.4% to 317,786, the SMMT said. That was the best March performance for five years, although sales remain well below pre-pandemic levels.

Sales to fleet buyers – which include businesses such as car rental and taxi companies – jumped by 29.6%.

However, sales to private buyers fell 7.7%, which the SMMT said reflected a tough economic backdrop of “low growth, weak consumer confidence and high interest rates”.

The industry body also said the decline in market share for electric vehicles “underscores the need for government to support consumers”.

Read More: March new car market sustains growth as manufacturers shore up electrified demand – SMMT


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