Covid-19 has had a huge impact on UK car sales, including Electric Vehicles (EVs). Total car sales were down 97% in April and 89% in May compared to last year’s figures. However, EV sales have been more resilient than diesel and petrol models.

Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) sales accounted for 12% of total UK car sales in May 2020 (2,424 units sold). Sales were up 43% on the previous month but still much lower than the record sales in March 2020.

BEV Car Sales May 2020 V2

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) sales also recovered in May with 4.1% of total car sales (825 units sold), but not by as much as BEV sales. The split between BEV and PHEV in total EV sales is 60% BEV to 40% PHEV so far in 2020. This is up from 52% BEV to 48% PHEV in 2019 and 27% BEV to 73% PHEV in 2018. This shift towards BEV dominance is likely to continue following the removal of government grant incentives for PHEV models and the number of BEV models available set to double over the next year.

The Tesla Model 3 was the best-selling car model in the UK overall (including petrol and diesel models) for the second month in a row. Their online sales process and no touch delivery has helped the company maintain progress throughout the lockdown. VW Group have now followed Tesla’s lead in focusing on the online sales pathway for the highly anticipated ID 3 BEV model, ahead of forecourt sales. A sign of a general shift in the industry that has been emphasised during Covid-19.

With levels of travel at historic lows, the benefits to air quality and reduced carbon emissions have been well documented. These benefits ought to help boost EV sales further over the coming months, as consumers make alternative decisions, more models become available, and company car tax incentives become more established. The predicted recession may hamper this progress as consumers and companies tighten their belts.

As forecourts start to open this month car sales will start to settle on a “new normal”. The question is, how many of the sales will be electric?

Regen is working on several projects to support the EV revolution, including:

  • Working with Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks to assess the street-level uptake of EVs and other low carbon technologies. Further details here.
  • Partnering on the £4 million Charging in Public Places Exeter project which is installing up to 130 rapid chargepoints with battery storage in and around Exeter, UK.
  • Running our EV and electricity system forum, covering diverse topics, including ultra-rapid charging hubs in the most recent webinar edition. Further details here.

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