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UK: Carmakers report roaring sales of electric cars in 2021

UK: Carmakers report roaring sales of electric cars in 2021
UK: Carmakers report roaring sales of electric cars in 2021

The electric cars sector reportedly recorded a booming sales period in the UK, despite facing tough market conditions, last year as manufacturers experienced disruption in global supply chains due to the pandemic.

According to the annual sales report of British trade association, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), carmakers across the country reportedly sold over 190,000 units of battery-electric cars last year, accounting for 11.6 percent of total sales in the sector.

Showcasing a growing inclination towards green vehicles, battery-powered car sales rose significantly from 2020, when just 108,000 units were sold, accounting for only 6.6% of new cars bought in the country.

In December 2021, EVs alone accounted for 26 percent of the sales, a new single month record, after physical dealerships were allowed to open during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to SMMT, Britons bought more EVs in 2021 than in the last five years combined.

Meanwhile, with the disruption in the global supply chain and the semiconductor chips shortage, the UK car industry had seen an overall sale growth of just 1% from 2020, staying about a third below the overall sales of 2019.

Mike Hawes, CEO of SMMT, stated that the lack of microchips, used in things like windscreen wipers and infotainment systems, will continue to be a hindrance for the car industry in 2022, undermining the market for this year as well.

Hawes said that while the demand is strong, supplying to the customers has become a challenge.

Hawes also added that the surge in EVs implies that there would be a significant reduction in average emissions of cars sold in the country for a consecutive second year, after having recorded three years of rising emissions due to SUV sales.

Meanwhile, Hawes criticized the cuts in EV grants last year, the irregular investment for on-street charging, and the delay in plans of getting chargers installed in car parks, stating that the government is giving a confusing message regarding its ambition to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030/2035, and is also creating hesitancy among consumers who might want to switch to EVs. 

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Vinisha Joshi

Vinisha Joshi

Despite graduating with an engineering degree in electronics and communication, Vinisha Joshi chose the road less travelled, and decided to pursue her career in content writing . Currently, she pens down articles for and a few other distinguished news platforms, pertaining to business and finance.