Electric car sales growth blips in October as ships don't come in

Tristan Young

8 Nov 2022

Electric cars continue to buck the overall downward trend in new car sales in the latest official new car registration figures. Electric car registrations were up 23.4% for the month, which is just behind the overall all car types total for October of 26.4%, however, this rise was due to a particularly poor October in 2021 and continuing supply issues for in-demand electric models. 

The year-to date figure for all fuel types shows 2022 is running down 5.6% on 2021 while battery electric car registrations are up an impressive 38.4% this year. 

Founder and CEO of Electrifying.com Ginny Buckley said:“The rate of growth declined in October, but this is a blip and we shouldn’t read too much into the figures for one month. Electric car registrations are massively impacted by the timing of shipments to the UK from big-selling brands such as Tesla, Kia and MG. We know that large numbers of electric cars are due to arrive in the UK over the next two months and will be sent straight out to eager buyers.”

While plug-in hybrid sales grew slightly compared to the same month last year, it still appears that buyers are ‘leapfrogging’ them and going straight to fully electric cars. PHEV sales continue to fall this year, down more than 13% against 2021’s first 10 months. 

However, non-plug in hybrid models had a sharp increase in numbers for October, up from 8,649 to 15,712. This is thought to be due to a series of new product launches from brands like Nissan with its Juke, Qashqai and X-Trail hybrid models.

The first Ora models were registered this month

While supply issues are clearly still impacting the new car figures, those brands with electric vehicle stock are performing well; particularly MG, which is up more than 70% so far this year.Polestar is up nearly 62% in 2022 and has delivered its 10,000th car. Tesla is also up more than 45% thanks to the arrival of the Model Y. 

Car dealers that Electrifying.com has spoken to over the past month have reiterated that while order banks are still strong, there are signs that new customer orders are slowing due to the impact of economic pressures.

Notable as a new entrant in the official Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ (SMMT) listing is Chinese brand Ora. While the all-electric Ora Funky Cat doesn’t officially go on sale until the end of the year, the first 42 have been registered by the manufacturer as demonstrators. 

The SMMT doesn’t list electric vehicles separately from the overall top 10 best-selling models, but models available as electric cars feature heavily. With the MINI, Vauxhall Corsa, Vauxhall Mokka, Fiat 500 and Peugeot 2008 (which are available as electric cars) all appearing in the top 10 for the month, and for the first 10 months of the year the Vauxhall Corsa, MINI, Kia Niro and Tesla Model Y all made the list.

Data: SMMT

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