Figures released from The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed that sales of electric cars increased by 19.9 per cent comparing sales in January 2015 to January 2016. This represents a 12-year high and further proof, if any was needed, that electric cars are here to stay. Electric and hybrid vehicles, or alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs), now account for 4.2 per cent of new vehicle registrations in the UK.
Petrol cars sales also saw an increase of 8.9 per cent, but diesel cars are currently the main victim to electric cars’ success; decreasing 4.3 per cent from January 2015 to January 2016. Recent publicity around health issues and pollution has started to turn drivers against diesel vehicles and sales continue to fall. With recent headlines suggesting that several major worldwide cities intend to ban diesel cars within 10 years, extra parking charges in parts of London and possible government plans to launch a diesel scrappage scheme; the figures reflect that it might not be the best time to purchase a new diesel car. A total of 174,564 new cars were registered in January 2016, a 2.9 per cent year on year increase and the highest amount since 2005.
Although a slow in the overall market is predicted to occur during the year, this is an optimistic start which was not expected after a warning of a slowdown from the SMMT following Brexit, the weakness of the pound and a mood of general uncertainty. The grant from the Government for motorists who purchase an electric car remains in place and is worth up to 35 per cent of the value of the car or £4,500. The electric car revolution is for the first time having an impact on predictions of oil demand; BP has warned demand could reduce from 25million barrels of oil a day to 15million barrels due to the electric car boom. Their forecasts now show almost double the number of electric vehicles they expect to be on the world’s roads in 2035, going from their 2015 prediction of 57m to 100m. At jamjar.com we certainly believe it seems very unlikely that January 2017 will be the only month this year to show such a solid picture for electric cars.