In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • Battery electric cars now account for 11% of the UK market – tied with diesel.
  • The US consumed more electricity powered by renewables than by coal in 2020, reports the EIA.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.

UK electric car sales on the rise

June car registrations in the UK showed strong growth in electric car sales, as well as the continued decline of new diesel car registrations. New diesel and new fully electric cars are now tied for third place behind gas cars and hybrids in the new car market, according to New AutoMotive, an independent transport research organization with a mission to accelerate and support the UK’s transition to electric vehicles.

Almost 16,000 new fully electric cars were registered in June 2021 – the highest share of the market so far this year. In contrast, new diesel car registrations have not recovered from the collapse in sales during the pandemic.

Regionally, the Northeast, London, and the Southeast continue to be hotspots for new EV registrations. Northeast England now averages 13% of all newly registered cars being fully electric.

Ben Nelmes, head of policy at New AutoMotive, said:

Electric car sales saw strong growth in June. While petrol remains the most popular fuel type, the growth of registrations of new hybrid vehicles is a concern. Hybrids are not zero emissions cars, and the UK needs to see faster growth in zero emissions, fully electric cars to meet its net zero target. Ministers should consider introducing a California-style scheme that would reward manufacturers for selling fully electric cars instead of hybrids.

Check out New AutoMotive’s interactive data dashboard here.

US rise in renewables use in 2020

The pandemic significantly reduced US energy consumption overall in 2020. Almost all of the decline came from less consumption of petroleum for transport and coal used for electricity.

In 2020, fossil fuels— petroleum, natural gas, and coal — made up 79%, or 73 quadrillion British thermal units (quads), of total US energy consumption in 2020 – its lowest level since 1991, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

And renewables (3.4 quads) – such as wind, solar, biofuels, hydroelectricity – and nuclear energy (8.2 quads) made up the other 21%, or 11.6 quads — the highest share since the early 1900s.

Petroleum use totaled 32.2 quads, natural gas consumption totaled 31.5 quads, and US coal consumption fell to 9.2 quads in 2020, the lowest level in 116 years. Reduced use in the electric power sector has driven coal’s decline.

Read more: US consumes more green energy than coal for first time since 1885

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