Skip advert
Advertisement

New car sales 2023: slow private EV uptake builds demand for government incentives

Latest figures for August 2023 show the fleet electric purchases are surging in the UK while private buyers are reluctant to make the switch

August new car registrations leaped by 24.4 per cent compared to last year, with 85,657 new vehicles hitting the road in the UK. But while fleet sales surged by 58.4 per cent, registrations to private motorists fell back by 8.1 per cent, even compared to last August’s figure which was limited by industry supply issues. 

Advertisement - Article continues below

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) for ‘electrified vehicles’ - including everything from mild hybrids to full EVs in industry parlance - accounted for 38 per cent of new registrations in the month, while battery electric (BEV) car registrations was up 72.3 per cent for a 20.1 per cent share of the market total. Plug-in hybrid sales rose by a similar 70 per cent, while mild hybrids sales were more stable with 6.8 per cent growth.

The news on latest figures, while encouraging from the fleet sales perspective, leaves the industry increasingly concerned about the potential content of impending Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate rules. These will detail government expectations for the numbers of zero emission vehicles manufacturers must sell, and while they’re due to come into force in 2024, the government still hasn’t provided details of the rules it intends to implement. This and the lack of private drivers apparently ready to make the EV switchover, has led SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes to call for urgent action on both issues.

“Recovery is underway with EVs energising the market. But with a new Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate due to come into force in less than 120 days, manufacturers still await the details. Businesses cannot plan on the basis of consultations, they need certainty. And now, more than ever, government must match action to ambition, ensuring there are the incentives and infrastructure in place to convince drivers to make the switch,” he says.

Looking to sell your current car quickly and for a good price? We’ve partnered with Motorway to bring you the best offer from its network of UK dealers...

Skip advert
Advertisement
Current affairs and features editor

Chris covers all aspects of motoring life for Auto Express. Over a long career he has contributed news and car reviews to brands such as Autocar, WhatCar?, PistonHeads, Goodwood and The Motor Trader.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

Labour to restore 2030 ICE ban, but fuel duty hike on the cards
Labour party logo
News

Labour to restore 2030 ICE ban, but fuel duty hike on the cards

The Labour Party’s manifesto promises support for the EV manufacturing industry and used electric car buyers, as well as an investigation into high in…
13 Jun 2024
EU threatens Chinese electric car tariffs of almost 50 per cent
XPeng G6 - front cornering
News

EU threatens Chinese electric car tariffs of almost 50 per cent

New tariffs would be imposed on top of pre-existing duties in an aim to override “unfair” subsidies by the Chinese government
12 Jun 2024
Labour to fix one million potholes per year under new ‘Plan for Drivers’
Pothole
News

Labour to fix one million potholes per year under new ‘Plan for Drivers’

Labour’s bid for the motorists’ vote includes funding for potholes, an investigation into unfair car insurance practices and a reform for road buildin…
12 Jun 2024
What are the Tories going to do for us? Pay-per-mile road tax ban in 2024 Conservative manifesto
London Roads
News

What are the Tories going to do for us? Pay-per-mile road tax ban in 2024 Conservative manifesto

Conservative Party election manifesto pledges to address multiple issues facing drivers, including rules surrounding tax and the standard of our roads
11 Jun 2024

Most Popular

Dacia’s Duster is Britain’s best car to own as Driver Power 2024 survey results land
Dacia Duster - front tracking
News

Dacia’s Duster is Britain’s best car to own as Driver Power 2024 survey results land

Owners have voted the Dacia Duster as the most satisfying new car to own in the 2024 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey
11 Jun 2024
Best cars to own: Driver Power 2024 results
Driver Power 2024 - best cars to own header
News

Best cars to own: Driver Power 2024 results

The best new cars to own in the UK right now according to the people who already do. It’s the 2024 Driver Power results!
11 Jun 2024
New Porsche 911 S/T 2024 review: one of the best sports cars ever built
Porsche 911 S/T - front
Road tests

New Porsche 911 S/T 2024 review: one of the best sports cars ever built

Porsche’s last hurrah for the 992.1 generation 911 is an epic driving machine with just the right dose of luxury
12 Jun 2024