The RAC has described a sharp rise in registrations of new battery electric vehicles as ‘extremely encouraging’ – but says it is now ‘critical’ to maintain momentum.
Figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show 2,508 battery electric vehicles (BEVs) were registered in February 2020 – a year on year rise of 243%.
Meanwhile there were also year-on-year rises in the number of new hybrid electric vehicles (72%) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (50%).
In total, 79,594 new vehicles were registered, the SMMT figures show.
The RAC says while the market share might still be small, it expects the rise in the number of new electric vehicles to continue in 2020.
It is calling on the Government to help build momentum – primarily by extending the life of the plug-in car grant, which provides up to £3,500 towards the purchase of brand new electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles.
The Government has already indicated the long-running grant may end this year, due to an expected rise in sales, but the RAC says it should remain until at least 2022 – to continue stimulating the market.
The RAC would also like to see vehicle excise duty abolished for all ultra-low emission vehicles.
Rod Dennis, RAC spokesperson, said: “Their overall market share might still be small, but the sharp rise in registrations of new electric vehicles is extremely encouraging and it’s a trend we expect to see continue throughout 2020 as several important new models reach showrooms.
“Maintaining momentum is now critical – any driver looking to change their car needs to have confidence that switching to an electric model makes good financial as well as practical sense.
“The Government has already indicated the long-running plug-in car grant, which provides up to £3,500 towards the purchase of brand new electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles, may not continue after this year due to an expected rise in sales.
“We strongly urge the Government to keep the grant in place in some form until at least 2022 to continue stimulating the market.
“We would also like to see vehicle excise duty abolished for all ultra-low emission vehicles, effectively reversing the Government’s 2017 decision to start charging plug-in hybrid vehicles car tax.”
11 March 2020