Electric vehicle (EV) sales bucked the overall 2019 trend of falling car sales, with figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers (SMMT) showing that battery electric vehicles (BEVs) registrations have risen by 144% to 37,850, according to Cornwall Insight.
Further research by the company on these figures indicated that BEV sales for 2019 are now higher than the National Grid Future Energy Scenarios’ (FES) Consumer Evolution and Steady Progression forecasts, shown in the above graph.
Tom Lusher, analyst at Cornwall Insight, said, “2019 was an exceptional year for BEVs, which have been breaking records for the number of registrations as well as outselling plug-in hybrid EVs (PHEVs) for the first time. BEVs are now fast becoming the choice powertrain within the plug-in vehicle category.
“While 2019 saw a strong performance from EVs, with Cornwall Insight research showing that sales have exceeded two of the National Grid’s FES forecasts, more still needs to be done to meet the government's net zero targets. In fact, last year’s registrations fell short of the ~167,000 BEVs required to be sold to be on track for the Two Degrees scenario in FES 2019.
“There is reason to be optimistic on EV sale prospects for 2020 and beyond. Particularly, with the outcome of the Office for Low Emission Vehicles EV Smart Charging consultation, and EU regulations enforcing stringent emission reductions on car manufacturers, which has resulted in the launch of many new EV models, expanding the range of models on offer.
“More significantly, the long-awaited changes to benefit-in-kind tax, which will offer company car drivers a 0% rate for BEVs, is expected to be introduced in the Budget on 11 March. This will likely spur the market on at a pace not yet seen to break more records in the future.”