According to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), demand for hybrid and electric cars in the UK grew by 36.1 per cent to 11,240 units in May, compared to this time last year, accounting for a record 5.8 per cent of the market.
Plug-in hybrid cars were the biggest driver of growth, up 72.7 per cent, while hybrids rose 22.6 per cent and battery electrics grew 18.7 per cent. Registrations of petrol cars also increased, by 23.5 per cent, while diesels fell for the 14th consecutive month, down -23.6 per cent.
Overall, the UK new car market grew by a modest 3.4 per cent in May with 192,649 new units registered. However, the growth follows a substantial -8.5 per cent decline in the previous May when demand was impacted by VED changes and the general election.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “May’s growth, albeit on the back of large declines last year, is encouraging and suggests the market is now starting to return to a more natural running rate. To ensure long-term stability, we need to avoid any further disruption to the market, and this will require sustainable policies that give consumers and businesses the confidence to invest in the new cars that best suit their needs. Fleet renewal is the fastest way to improve air quality and reduce CO2, and this applies to hybrid and plug-in technologies as well as the latest low emission petrol and diesels which, for many drivers, remain the right choice economically and environmentally.”