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Industry figures show that pure electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles accounted for more than 40% of all cars produced in the UK in January.

New industry figures show UK Electric Vehicle production continues its upward trend, with more than 23,200 pure electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid vehicles rolling off the production line last month.

The performance means total production of all electric cars in January was up almost 50% on the same month last year, as their share of the total number of cars built in the UK approaches a record level, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said today.

More than four in 10 (41%) of cars built in the UK were electrified last month, with the vast majority destined for export to meet growing global demand for low-carbon road transport, according to the motoring trade group.

A flood of electric vehicles was once again one of the few bright spots for the UK auto industry, with total production of all models including petrol and diesel cars slipping slightly by 0.3%, the data showed.

The trade group blamed some of the stagnant output on the lingering impact of the war in Ukraine, and last year it halted car exports to Russia, hitting the British export market.

Britishvolt, a start-up planning to build the UK’s first large-scale electric car battery factory in Northumberland, went into administration last month ahead of a takeover deal with Australian company Recharge Industries in February.

Meanwhile, Nissan executives have warned that Britain’s only major electric car manufacturing plant is struggling amid a weak domestic supply chain, lack of government support and rising production costs.

Last week, US auto giant Ford announced plans to cut 1,300 jobs in the UK as it shifts more electric car production to Europe.

Despite rapidly increasing adoption of zero-emission vehicles in the UK, there are concerns about the future of domestic electric vehicle manufacturing, which hit another record high in 2022 with a 16.6% overall market share and overtake diesel as the second most popular powertrain after petrol.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes believes the UK car industry has huge growth potential in a booming global green economy, but has urged the government to give the industry clearer political support and resist protectionist trade policies around the world.

“Automotive manufacturing can drive long-term growth for the low carbon economy but the sector needs competitive conditions to attract investment,” he said. “Recent global developments, however, suggest increasing protectionism which, if not challenged or mitigated, could put the UK at a disadvantage.

“To deliver a wholesale industrial transformation we need a competitive framework and a pitch that promotes advanced vehicle manufacturing internationally. We now look to the forthcoming Budget for the necessary measures that will enable the automotive sector to deliver its undoubted potential.”

The news comes a day after the government announced a new UK industry supercharger scheme aimed at bringing energy costs in line with those of its economic rivals. The government says the increased support will give a big boost to energy-intensive industries and help attract investment in emerging green industries such as electric vehicles and battery manufacturing.

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UK electric car production nears new record.
Subscribe to Electric Vehicle News Bitesize Podcast for FREE to hear more!