Sales of electric vehicles are surging at the expense of diesels

More than double the number of electric vehicles have already been sold this year compared with the whole of 2019.

The latest new vehicle registration figures show that 86,291 electric vehicles have been registered between January 1 and November 30 this year, up from 37,850 during all of 2019.

Although the overall numbers are still low compared with vehicles fuelled by petrol and diesel, the increasing popularity will be welcome news to the car industry. The UK government wants to ban sales of non-electrified vehicles by 2030.

With electric vehicle sales soaring, diesel continues to be hit hard. Just 246,389 had been sold by the end of November, compared with 583,488 in all of 2019, a fall of 58 per cent.

In November alone, combined sales of electric and plug-in hybrid models were higher than diesel (18,062 compared with 15,925).

RAC data insight spokesman Rod Dennis said: “We may well now be reaching a watershed moment when it comes to new car sales in the UK – taking the anomalous month of April aside when dealers were forced to shut because of the pandemic, November saw more plug-in cars registered than diesel cars.

Charging station
Charging station

“The rise in demand for plug-in electrified vehicles appears to partly be taking place at petrol and diesel’s expense, with the latter as a result of concerns over harmful nitrogen dioxide emissions.

“As we move beyond the pandemic, 2021 is set to be a critically important year when it comes to understanding the appetite drivers have for ‘going electric’. With more EVs coming onto the market, it will be interesting to see if this rise in sales will be sustained or whether the negative economic outlook has the unfortunate effect of quelling demand.”