More than 200,000 new pure electric vehicles (EVs) are expected to hit the UK’s roads in 2021 alone, according to an EV leasing specialist. Mike Potter, the managing director of leasing firm DriveElectric, says he expects sales to grow again as more electric cars arrive on the market.
Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show more than 108,000 new electric cars were registered in the UK in 2020, leaving EVs with a 6.6-percent share of the new car market. That was an almost threefold increase on 2019’s data, which showed just under 38,000 EVs were registered – 1.6 percent of the total market.
Of course, 2020 was a unique year for the sector, which declined by almost 30 percent as the coronavirus pandemic took hold. Nevertheless, the electric vehicle market still posted impressive growth, and Potter expects that to continue into 2021.
Using his own firm’s data, Potter and his team estimate EV sales will roughly double this year, taking the numbers above 200,000. Although that won’t be such a big percentage increase as in 2020, it will still be a huge leap in demand, and it will see electric cars’ market share rise dramatically.
According to Potter, this increase will be powered by a mixture of tax incentives, including the one-percent company car tax rate for EVs registered from April 2021, as well as increased choice in the market. Potter points to a range of new electric cars due this year, but says models from the Volkswagen Group, Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai will have particular impact.
“It is interesting to see that battery electric vehicle registrations in 2020 exceeded our forecast despite the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Potter, whose team predicted just under 100,000 EV sales in 2020. “In 2021 there will be even more EV models on sale, so motorists looking to save money on running costs and to banish tailpipe emissions will have even more choice.”
Looking further ahead, Potter expects electric vehicles to account for roughly half the UK’s new car market by 2025. When 2030 comes around, electric vehicles’ market share will have to rise as sales of new petrol- and diesel-powered cars will be banned.
However, manufacturers will still be allowed to sell some hybrids until 2035. At that point, the government wants all new cars to be powered by electric motors, but it is agnostic as to whether those vehicles use batteries or hydrogen fuel cells to power those motors.