22 months of growth for AFVs
Overall, the UK’s new car market saw year on year growth of 1.4% in February, which is usually a slow month ahead of the March plate change. This growth could have been caused by the looming prospect of a no-deal Brexit and the threat of price increases on imported goods.
In the AFV category, it was zero-emission vehicles which saw the most growth with 731 units, more than double the figure for 2018.
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“It’s encouraging to see market growth in February, albeit marginal, especially for electrified models.”
Mike Hawes – SMMT Chief Executive
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are continuing to struggle, however, following the removal of the Plug-in Car Grant for PHEVs in October 2018. In the first 10 months of 2018, these hybrids saw growth of nearly 30% year on year. Following the removal of the grant, this growth has been reduced to 1.7%.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “It’s encouraging to see market growth in February, albeit marginal, especially for electrified models. Car makers have made huge commitments to bring to market an ever-increasing range of exciting zero and ultra low emission vehicles and give buyers greater choice.”
Hawes has previously been critical of the removal of the Plug-in Car Grant for PHEVs and added that zero and ultra-low emission vehicles “still only account for a fraction of the overall market, however, so if the UK is to achieve its electrification ambitions a world-class package of incentives is needed. The recent removal of the plug-in car grant from hybrids was a backwards step and sends entirely the wrong message. Supportive, not punitive measures are needed, else ambitions will never be realised.”
By the end of 2019, more than 60 plug-in models are expected to be available to customers in the UK.
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