Electric cars saw their market share plunge by a quarter in Britain last month, as hard-up customers shunned the high prices and soaring insurance costs. The Telegraph has more.
Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) represented just 14.7% of new car sales in January, down from 19.7% in December, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
It comes after full-year figures for 2023 revealed that the market share of EVs was going into reverse for the first time, with many drivers still put off by high upfront costs, unevenly spread charging networks and big insurance premiums.
In a new forecast, the SMMT cut the predicted market share of EVs this year from 22.3% to 21%.
The industry body said 20,935 new EVs were registered in January – taking the total registered in Britain so far to just over one million.
However, experts warned that the lacklustre figures were a sign that consumers were shunning new cars in favour of second-hand alternatives.
The numbers will intensify industry calls for Jeremy Hunt, the Chancellor, to slash VAT on EV purchases in his March 6th Budget, a move that the SMMT claims would turbocharge sales.
The slump in EV sales growth came amid a wider market malaise, with private car sales tumbling by 15.8% in January compared to a year earlier.
Some 142,876 new cars were registered overall, up by 10,882 compared to a year earlier. However, the increase was weighted heavily towards fleet buyers such as car rental firms, which accounted for 90,314 sales.