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Electric car growth forecasts downgraded

Electric car growth forecasts downgraded

That’s according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders

Expectations for the growth in demand of pure electric new cars have been downgraded.

An automotive industry body said it predicts the vehicles will make up 18.4% of new car registrations this year, down from 19.7% in a forecast issued in January.

This is due to “high energy costs and insufficient charging infrastructure” which is “anticipated to soften demand”, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Estimates of next year’s market share for pure electric new cars have also been revised downwards, from 23.3% to 22.6%.

Sales of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned in the UK from 2030.

The UK’s overall new car market has grown for nine consecutive months.

Some 132,99 new cars were registered last month.

That is up 11.6% year-on-year but remains 17.4% down on the pre-pandemic levels of 2019.

The total number of new cars registered during the first four months of this year was up 16.9% compared with the same period in 2022.

That has caused the SMMT to upgrade its annual forecast for total registrations to 1.83 million, an increase from 1.79 million previously.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “The new car market is increasingly bullish, as easing supply chain pressures provide a much-needed boost.

“However, the broader economic conditions and chargepoint anxiety are beginning to cast a cloud over the market’s eagerness to adopt zero emission mobility at the scale and pace needed.

“To ensure all drivers can benefit from electric vehicles, we need everyone – Government, local authorities, energy companies and charging providers – to accelerate their investment in the transition and bolster consumer confidence in making the switch.”

Ian Plummer, commercial director at online vehicle marketplace Auto Trader, said: “Rising new car sales for a ninth month in a row represent a healthier economic picture than feared a few months back, which is good for the market.

“Consumer demand is strong but the softening of the SMMT’s forecasts on electric vehicle (EV) sales offers some cause for concern.

“This underlines our recent call for measures needed to support the EV market, such as cutting VAT on public chargers.”

Separate Department for Transport figures released on Thursday show there were 40,150 public EV charging devices in the UK as of April 1, an increase of 9,860.

The Government’s target is for the total to reach 300,000 by 2030.

It is also planning to force manufacturers to sell a certain proportion of zero emission vehicles.

The proposed levels of the zero emission vehicle mandate for new cars are 22% by 2024, 80% by 2030 and 100% by 2035.

RAC electric vehicle spokesman Simon Williams said: “The relatively small number of truly fast charging facilities will cause some drivers to be more wary of switching to electric if they rely on their vehicles for longer journeys.

“Manufacturers have increasingly tough targets to meet when it comes to selling electric vehicles, and we think it’s only right that charging networks have something similar.

“We’d also like the Government to reintroduce the plug-in car grant but specifically targeting the cheaper end of the market to make going electric feasible for a bigger proportion of drivers.”

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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