Battery-electric vehicles outnumber plug-in hybrids for first time – RAC

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The number of battery-electric vehicles on UK roads has overtaken plug-in hybrids for the first time, according to analysis (John Walton/PA) (PA Archive)
The number of battery-electric vehicles on UK roads has overtaken plug-in hybrids for the first time, according to analysis (John Walton/PA) (PA Archive)

Battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) outnumber plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) for the first time, according to new analysis.

An estimated 332,299 BEVs are on UK roads following a record 32,721 being registered last month, the RAC said.

BEVs now represent 50.4% of all plug-in cars on UK roads, up from 46.3% 12 months ago.

There’s clear momentum when it comes to electric car adoption

Sarah Winward-Kotecha, RAC

The increase has been partly attributed to greater availability of BEVs – which are powered exclusively by rechargeable batteries – and a reduction in grants for PHEVs, which combine an electric motor with a petrol and diesel tank.

From 2018 to 2019 the number of new BEVs more than doubled to 37,850, and then nearly trebled to 108,205 last year.

By the end of this year the total is expected to reach at least 175,000.

That figure would probably be even higher without the global shortage of computer chips, which is limiting supply.

RAC director of electric vehicles Sarah Winward-Kotecha said: “There’s clear momentum when it comes to electric car adoption in the UK.

“Demand for BEVs appears to be outstripping PHEVs, with the latter often cited as a good ‘stepping stone’ between a petrol and diesel model and a full zero-emission battery model.

“Only time will tell whether it’s the case that drivers and fleets looking to upgrade their cars are choosing to leapfrog PHEVs and instead opt straight for BEVs.”

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