The UK has registered its lowest number of new vehicle registrations in the first quarter since 2009. It has declined by 30.1% compared to 2019 Q1, heavily influenced by the coronavirus pandemic.
However, the number of battery electric cars registered for the first time in 2020 Q1 has seen a huge increase of 203% compared to 2019 Q1, according to the Department for Transport. Also, Hybrid electric cars increased by 37% in 2020 and the number of plug-in hybrid electric cars went up by 62%.
English roads have seen an impressive 38,000 hybrid electric (HEVs), 18,000 battery electric (BEVs), and 14,000 plug-in hybrid electric (PHEVs) as newly registered vehicles.
The queen of ULEV (ultra-low emission vehicle) sales was the Tesla Model 3, having seen 5,304 registrations in the period covering January to March 2020, outperforming Nissan’s Leaf that came in second place with 2,621 units. In the top 10, we also find BMW’s 330e PHEV as the third best-selling model of the quarter at more than 2,100 units, followed by MG’s ZS EV with almost 1,800 registrations and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV on almost 1,500 units for fourth and fifth respectively. Other high performing models include the VW e-Golf, Jaguar I-Pace, Peugeot e-208, Range Rover Sport P400e and Audi e-tron.
From April 2019 to March 2020, Tesla sold 15,876 Model 3s, making it the number one-selling ULEV in the last year. The Model 3’s trim split is pretty equal, showing demand for all variants. Of the cars sold, 5,593 were the entry-level Standard Range + specification (35%), 5,266 were the top of the range Performance model (33%) and the remainder were the Long-Range Model 3.
This is yet more evidence that while the market for combustion-engines has slowed down during the pandemic, EVs have been thriving and it seems that numbers keep going up.