Record demand for electric vehicles despite 8.5% drop is used car sales

Record demand for electric vehicles despite 8.5% drop is used car sales
According to a new report, used battery electric vehicle (BEV) transactions bucked the overall trend of a declining market by recording their best-ever annual performance.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealed that a record 71,071 units found new owners in 2022 – a rise of 37.5%.

As a result, BEV’s overall market share rose to 1.0% last year, which is up from 0.7% in 2021.

Electric vehicles (EVs) represented just 4.1% of the market. However, this is an increase from 3.3% in 2021.

Robust demand for other alternatively fuelled vehicles continued, too, with sales of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) rising 8.6% and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEVs) transactions up 3.6%.

However, the UK’s used car market declined in 2022, with sales down 8.5% to 6,890,777 total transactions.

This means that 640,179 fewer vehicles changed hands when compared to 2021.

The industry remains 13.2% off 2019’s pre-pandemic total.

Last year, transactions of used diesel and petrol cars fell by 11.8% and 7.7% respectively.

However, they remained the dominant powertrains with a combined 6,594,880 units changing hands.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the automotive industry has been hit with a series of issues, such as the global shortage of semiconductors and global political challenges. As a result, the SMMT believes that this has restricted stock entering the second-hand market.

When looking at the monthly SMMT statistics, transactions of used cars increased by 0.8% in December. This is the first monthly rise since February 2022. Despite this, Q4 was down 4.3%. This follows three successive quarterly declines in used car sales.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “While the market headlines are negative, and reflective of the squeeze on new car supply last year, record electrified vehicle uptake is a bright spot and demonstrates a growing appetite for these models.

“With new car registrations growth expected this year, more of the latest low and zero emission models should become available to second owners. Accelerating uptake is key and will be dependent on drivers being assured of a positive ownership experience.

“This means ensuring charging infrastructure keeps pace with demand as more, new and used car buyers make the switch to zero emission motoring than ever before.”

Further analysis of SMMT data

Although the highlight of the latest SMMT report revealed that UK drivers are looking at making the switch to EVs, the data also showcased some other trends for car buyers.

Black proved to be the most popular colour for the year, accounting for a 21.6% of the market share.

This was followed by blue with 16.4% market share, and, despite grey topping the new car market, it ranked third for used cars at 16.3% market share.

Other drivers purchased 4,461 pink, 6,708 turquoise and 18,658 bronze used vehicles in 2022.

Are you looking to make the switch to EVs? What more can be done to make the industry more appealing? Leave your comments below.

If you are looking for a used vehcile, check out RAC Cars.

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