The UK new car market fell -39.5% in January as a result of the lockdown; positively, registrations of electrified vehicles continued to rise.

According to figures published by the SMMT, battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) continued their upward trend in January, with increases in registrations of 54.4% and 28.0% respectively in January, accounting, combined, for 13.7% of all new car sales.  Petrol Mild-Hybrid Electric Vehicles (MHEVs) grew by 40.2%, whilst diesel MHEVs were up 26.5%. Internal Combustion Engines were the worst affected, diesel was down -65.1% and Petrol declined -50.6%.

This year, SMMT expects BEVs and PHEVs to grow their combined market share from just over one in 10 new cars, to more than one in seven.

Sue Robinson, NFDA Chief Executive, said: “Positively, sales of electrified vehicles have begun the year with a strong performance and with more models coming to the market, the improvement to the charging infrastructure and retailers investing heavily to inform their customers, sales of EVs will continue to grow.

Commenting on the market and the year ahead, she added: “Despite the lockdown, the automotive retail sector is looking at 2021 with confidence as sales will likely be fuelled by pent-up demand, rising registrations of low and zero emission vehicles and the increasing importance of car ownership, which is seen by more and more people as the safest mean of personal transport in the present climate”.