More electric vehicles were registered than diesel cars for the second month in a row in July, according to car industry figurees in the UK
It is the third time battery electric vehicles have overtaken diesel in the past two years.
People are starting to buy electric vehicles more as the UK tries to move towards a lower carbon future. The UK plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, and hybrids by 2035.
That should mean that most cars on the road in 2050 are either electric, use hydrogen fuel cells, or some other non-fossil fuel technology.
In July there was “bumper growth” in the sale of plug-in cars, the SMMT said, with battery electric vehicles taking 9% of sales. Plug-in hybrids reached 8% of sales, and hybrid electric vehicles were at almost 12%.
This is compared with a 7.1% market share for diesel, which saw 8,783 registrations.
In June, battery electric vehicles also outsold diesel, and this also happened in April 2020.
July is normally a relatively quiet month in the car trade. Buyers at this time of year are often waiting until the September number plate change before investing in new wheels.
But even so, the latest figures illustrate clearly the major changes going on in the industry.
More electric cars were registered than diesels, and by a significant margin, for the second month in a row.
That’s a consequence both of the continued catastrophic fall in demand for diesel and increased sales of electric cars.
There is a caveat here – the figure for diesels doesn’t include hybrids. If you factor them in the picture for diesel looks a little healthier, but not by much. And it is difficult to see that changing.
Yes, carmakers are still making diesels. But with sales already so low, and with the UK and other governments planning to ban the technology on new cars within a few years, they have little incentive to invest in them.
Meanwhile new electric models are coming onto the market thick and fast.
Back in 2015, diesels made up a fraction under half of all cars sold in the UK. Luckily times have changed.
“This is a continuing reminder that any comparison to last year should be taken with a pinch of salt as the pandemic created a volatile and uncertain landscape for car sales,” he said.
However, he said the “move to zero emission vehicles continues apace”.
“Gigafactories breaking ground, and battery and electric vehicle plants receiving renewed commitment from investors and government are pointing to a healthier electrified future for UK automotive,” he said.