Electric vehicle usage increased by 71% to 748,349 cars, vans, buses and trucks, with growth across all industries. Just under 750000 electric cars.
Pandemic-related market disruption has led Britons to hold onto their cars longer. The average car’s lifespan has hit a new high of 8.7 years – more than a year older than a decade ago.
The number of cars in the UK increased by 0.4% to 40,506,971 in 2021, with more plug-in electric cars, vans, trucks and buses already on the road, according to the latest Motorparc figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
As a result of severe global shortages of key parts and supply chain disruptions, new car registrations were largely flat at 1.65 million and car ownership fell -0.2% to 35,023,652. Auto Parc fell for the second year in a row. The first consecutive downturn in more than a century.
While this is partly due to more advanced technology and higher reliability of new vehicles, the main reason is the pandemic-related market issues, the SMMT report said. A global shortage of key components, especially semiconductors, has limited the new car market. Shutdowns over the past two years have led to dealer closures, meaning consumers have less ability to buy new cars rather than keep theirs. That helped push the average car age to an all-time high of 8.7 years, more than a year older than a decade ago. Some 8.4 million cars — almost a quarter of those on the road — are more than 13 years old and have been in use since 2008.
However, it was a record year for light commercial vehicles, in which the number of vehicles on the road increased by 4.3% to 4,804,833. This contributed to the overall increase in inventories. Meanwhile, the heavy goods vehicle industry grew by 2.5%, with 604,035 trucks making local, domestic and international deliveries in the UK, while demand in key sectors picked up.
750000 electric cars on UK roads and growing.
The SMMT data shows that Electric Vehicle ownership continues to grow rapidly. The auto industry’s multi-billion-pound investment in zero-emission cars, vans, trucks, buses and coaches provides an ever-expanding range of models. Today, nearly three-quarters of a million cars on the road are plug-in. This includes 720,053 cars, 26,990 vans, 993 buses and 313 trucks.
Electric Vehicle adoption is growing rapidly, accounting for about one-fifth of new registrations. This demonstrates the need to persuade every driver to make the switch. The challenges ahead of the switch are enormous. There are about 20.5 million gasoline vehicles and 13 million diesel vehicles, accounting for 58.6% and 37.1% of the total number of vehicles respectively.
In the commercial vehicle segment, about 0.6 percent of vans are now plug-in electric vehicles, suggesting the van industry is about two years behind passenger cars, even though the end of sales of new gasoline and diesel registrations for both models is the same. Zero-emission public transportation is gaining momentum, with 1.3 percent of buses and coaches now powered by batteries. Electric trucks make up less than 0.1 percent of the truck fleet as the development of unique zero-emission technologies for these vehicles continues.
The UK’s acceptance of electric vehicles also varies widely. A 33.1% of plug-in cars are registered in London and the South East, accounting for 3.0% and 2.6% of all cars in each region respectively. This compares to 1.5% of cars in the West Midlands, 1.9% in Yorkshire and the Humberside and 0.9% in the North East. There are also differences in car use across the four UK countries, with plug-in cars accounting for 2.2% in England, 1.6% in Scotland and 0.8% in Wales and Northern Ireland.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Britain’s switch to electric vehicles continues to gather pace, with a record one in five new car registrations now plug-ins. However, they still represent around one in 50 cars on the road, so there is significant ground to cover if we are to fully decarbonise road transport at pace.
66.6% of all cars on UK roads were made in the EU, while British-built cars account for 15.3%.
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