UK Plugin Share Flat In January As Economic system Stumbles


The UK auto market noticed plugin electrical autos (EVs) take 20.0% share of latest gross sales in January, flat from 20.4% 12 months on 12 months. Full electrics grew barely while plugin hybrids shrank. Total auto quantity was 131,994 models, up some 15% YoY, however nonetheless 21% beneath pre-2020 seasonal norms. Volkswagen was the UK’s greatest promoting BEV model in January.

January’s mixed plugin share of 20.0% comprised 13.1% full battery electrics (BEVs), and 6.9% plugin hybrids (PHEVs). These evaluate with respective shares of 20.4%, 12.5%, and seven.9% YoY.

It’s regular for January’s plugin share to take a major step again from December’s outcomes, when producers  push to fulfill fleet emissions necessities, and to spice up their PR credentials for annual plugin progress. This 12 months, there was further strain in some European markets for a “massive December” since many plugin incentives have additionally been minimize as of January 1st. So the place December usually sees a pull-forward, January inevitably sees a little bit of a hangover.

While this 12 months France noticed YoY plugin share development in January, each the UK and Sweden have seen January’s plugin outcomes flat,  and each Norway and Germany noticed a decline. The excellent news is that flatness or decline is usually as a result of falling PHEV gross sales (stemming from incentive cuts), while the efficiency of BEVs has been extra resilient.

In the meantime, diesel-only autos continued their decline, reaching 4.0% share of the market in January, from 5.2% YoY. Petrols had been flat YoY in January, however are additionally on a slide over the long run. Plugless hybrids proceed to interchange combustion-only powertrains, providing a bit extra effectivity, which — while a slight emissions enchancment on the established order ante — are solely a short lived repair, and can lose out to plugins over the long run.

UK’s Main BEV Manufacturers

January noticed Tesla on the low-ebb of their logistics cycle, so the Volkswagen model had an opportunity to take the lead spot on the UK BEV market. They had been intently adopted by group sibling model, Audi, with BMW taking the third place.

This was a giant achieve for Audi, who’re often a lot additional down the rankings (seventh in December). Others seeing good points had been Kia, taking fifth (from sixteenth in December), and Hyundai (eighth, from 14th). Different manufacturers had been making extra minor strikes.

To iron out month-to-month logistics variations, let’s have a look at the trailing 3-month outcomes:

Right here Tesla retains its typical dominance within the UK market, with Volkswagen and BMW vying for second spot.

Audi has seen a good upward transfer to fifth, since three months in the past when it was in eighth. Polestar has additionally climbed, now in seventh (from twelfth), as has Renault (eighth from seventeenth).

Fallers in comparison with three months prior embody Mercedes (fifth to ninth), Hyundai (sixth to tenth) and some of the Stellantis manufacturers (Vauxhall/Opel, Peugeot, Fiat, and DS). As typical, many of those strikes will show short-term, and regional allocation selections can change issues once more sooner or later.

Above is a fast have a look at the manufacturing group charts. Tesla is dominant, however the Volkswagen group is just not far behind. Recall that Volkswagen Group was briefly within the lead in July and August, after Tesla’s Shanghai manufacturing snafus.

BMW Group took third, the place it has been regular since October, on the power of its numerous BEV mannequin line up. The i4 is widespread within the UK market, and received Auto Categorical‘ premium automobile of the 12 months in 2022. The BMW UK web site shows all of the BEV fashions entrance and centre, and in January some 22% of BMW’s UK gross sales had been BEV (the very best of any massive legacy model), nearly doubling from January 2022.


The UK’s trade physique, the SMMT is at present forecasting 1.79 M autos to be bought in 2023, some 11% development over final 12 months.

The broader financial system is in a tricky spot, with the IMF forecasting a recession of 0.6% in 2023. Inflation stays above 10%, and client confidence is at a low level. In opposition to this background, the SMMT’s forecast of auto development seems to be optimistic.

The SMMT don’t give the logic behind their development forecast, maybe they’re lengthy order books and hoping that easing provide chain woes will assist bolster gross sales this 12 months. However this can be wishful considering. Customers could let their prior orders slide as their financial circumstances take a change for the more severe. We should see the way it performs out.

Regardless, plugin share of the market ought to nonetheless see an upward trajectory this 12 months, because the financial benefits stay in place over the long run.

What are your ideas on the UK’s auto market and EV transition? Please bounce into the dialogue beneath.



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