Electric car sales rise in UK as fossil fuel car sales plummet


A few months ago, I heard two people denigrate electric cars as a hurricane approached Florida. “You can’t even chase one out of state to escape a storm because there are no chargers available and the ones that exist don’t work when the power goes out. ” Newsflash ! Gas pumps don’t work when there is no electricity either, bozos.

There is another problem with gas pumps. If there is no gas, they are practically useless. Many car owners in the UK are finding out as petrol supplies have plummeted, in part due to a lack of drivers and tankers to bring petrol to UK forecourts. (“Forecourt” is how you say “gas station” in the British Isles.)

This has led to a wave of panic buying, which only exacerbates the shortages, as Americans will recall remembering the long lines at gas stations after the OPEC embargoes. in the 70s. It also led to another phenomenon that no one has ever seen before – electric cars passing by while other motorists are stuck in all those forecourts with no gasoline to sell.

James Fairclough, CEO of AA Cars, said: “For those already considering going electric, the sight of EV drivers walking past long lines at gas stations during the fuel crisis September may have been a deciding factor. BEVs took a record share of the new car market in September. According to a report released earlier today here on CleanTechnica, nearly 33,000 pure electric cars were registered in the UK last month, almost 50% more than in the same period last year, The Guardian adds. 7,000 of these were Tesla Model 3 sedans, making it the best-selling electric car in the UK. In fact, that made it the best-selling car – of any kind – UK.

Sales of conventional cars have fallen recently, making it the lowest September total in more than two decades. Global semiconductor shortages affecting automakers would have been a major factor. Only 215,312 new car sales were recorded last month, the worst number since 1998, according to the Society of Engine Builders and Traders (SMMT). The numbers are down by a third from last September, when Covid-19 restrictions hampered the buying and selling of cars, and by nearly 45% from the 10-year average before the pandemic.

September is normally the second busiest month of the year for the industry. Mike Hawes, managing director of SMMT, said the big numbers were “hopelessly disappointing” and further proof of the impact the semiconductor shortage, especially from Asia, was having on the industry.

New car sales so far this year are only 5.9% above 2020 figures – the worst year in three decades – and down 29% from the pre-pandemic 10-year average. Sales of diesel cars continued to decline sharply, selling 77% less than a year ago. Only one in 20 new cars sold in the UK was pure diesel last month.

With long lead times for most electric vehicle deliveries, analysts said it was too early for the impact of the fuel crisis to show on sales. However, Jamie Hamilton, automotive director at Deloitte, added: “The inconvenience of long lines and empty pumps has prompted many motorists to explore the switch to electric. “

Car retail websites such as Automotive dealer reported a resurgence of interest in electric cars after September 24, when news that the shortage of truck and tanker drivers was affecting the forecourt’s fuel supply, leading to widespread panic of purchases at the pump. And wait for people to find out they could make money by plugging their car into the grid!

Hawes called on the government to step up investment in charging points. “The rise of plug-in vehicles, particularly battery-electric cars, demonstrates the growing demand for these new technologies,” he said. “However, to meet our collective decarbonization ambitions, we need to ensure that all drivers can make the switch – not just those with private driveways – which requires a massive investment in public charging infrastructure. The deployment of charging stations must keep pace with the acceleration in registrations of rechargeable vehicles.

Used car prices soar

Seán Kemple, Managing Director of Close Brothers Motor Finance, recounts The Guardian, “The consumer demand is there, but the choice is stifled. Buyers are turning to “almost new” options, a growing trend in which vehicles less than 12 months old are outweighing the price of their newer counterparts. Supply chain pressures are unlikely to abate this side of Christmas, and with used vehicles at higher prices, customers looking for a car find themselves in a low position. enviable. “

No one would wish to suffer that they couldn’t find gasoline on anyone, but maybe this market disruption will help more people discover the benefits of driving with electrons rather than molecules. It could also encourage other drivers of conventional cars to be a little less smug in their contempt for electric vehicles.

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