Electric vehicles had a breakout year in the UK in 2016 and the market is off to a good start in 2017. Battery-powered vehicles are starting to represent a more significant portion of the total new vehicle sales in the country – it reached a record of 4.2% share of new vehicle registrations last month.
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT – via The Guardian), January 2017 was the UK’s strongest month for new vehicle registrations in over 12 years:
“Drivers registered 174,564 cars in January, up 2.9% on last year, to reach the highest monthly level since 2005, the trade body said.”
SMMT attributes the growth in part to electric vehicles. They say that EVs had their best month ever in the UK with 4.2% market share up from last high of 3.6% in November last year.
As we previously reported, the UK saw an important growth of its electric vehicle market last year led by good deliveries of Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Nissan LEAF, BMW i3, and Tesla Model S.
Tesla has been roughly doubling deliveries of its Model S in the UK every year since the introduction of its right-hand drive version in 2014:
With 2,353 units delivered, the UK became Tesla’s best European market for the Model S last year.
Norway remained Tesla’s best overall market, but that’s mainly because they started deliveries of the Model X much sooner in Norway since the right-hand drive version of the all-electric SUV is only now ramping up.
Though demand could slow for Tesla in the UK after a 5% price increase introduced this year to account for the exchange rate. It’s likely not to make a negative difference in deliveries until next quarter since Tesla cited ‘exceptionally high demand’ after the price increase was announced and it delayed the increase for two weeks to help customers confirm their orders.
New vehicles coming to market, like the Hyundai IONIQ and the Tesla Model X, could help the country maintain its EV growth in 2017.
Electric vehicle buyers in Great Britain benefit from several incentives to spur EV adoption, mainly the £4,500 “plug-in grant”.