UK at 14.7% plug-in EV share in May – Tesla and VW most popular brands
The UK auto market recorded a 14.7% share of plug-in electric vehicles in May 2021, the highest share ever this year. Tesla and Volkswagen competed for the most popular all-electric brand. The overall market for automobiles was still around 13% below the seasonal level at 157,000 units.
The combined plug-in result of 14.7% in May included 8.4% full battery electrics (BEV) and 6.3% plug-in hybrids (PHEV), which is in line with the most recent weights. The cumulative plug-in share since the beginning of the year is now 13.8%, almost twice as high as it was at this point in time in 2020 of 7.2%.
Old school diesel engines (not hybridized) continued their decline to a record low of 9.87%. Old-school gasoline drives were also the second-lowest percentage of all time at 43.85% (as of December 2020):
Most popular BEV brands
We do not have up-to-date detailed BEV model data for the UK market, but we do have brand data from the UK DVLA database via a survey from NewAutomotive.org. Tesla (via Model 3) and Volkswagen (via ID.3 and ID.4) remain the most popular brands with 14% and 13.3% respectively of the BEV market, with Hyundai, Kia and Audi in the top five occupy :
Note that the DVLA data (graph above) has a different methodology than the SMMT data (the previous 2 graphs) and therefore does not exactly match, but the overall picture of Brand weighting is indicative.
At the level of the automotive company Volkswagen Group dominated in May and occupied 23% of the UK BEV market. Hyundai Motor Group was in second place with 17% and Tesla in third place with 14%.
The VW Group will probably expand this lead in the short term, as the Skoda Enyaq will soon be delivering in volume to Great Britain. Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 and its brother Kia EV6 should give the Hyundai engine group a boost when they are delivered in summer and autumn. Tesla’s Model Y should prove popular, but it won’t likely ship to the UK in volume until 2022.
Tesla Model 3 / Image: Tesla
With an increasing volume of compelling and increasingly affordable BEV models being supplied to the UK market, and with most UK new car buyers now realizing the benefits of BEVs, the rapid growth of EVs will continue. June, July and August have seen a notable increase in the UK’s plugin share in the past, and we could reasonably expect a share of 20% or more in August.
The UK’s cumulative plugins share for the full year in 2021 is still on track to end near or just over 20%, doubling from 10.7% last year. I estimate the month of December will be over 30%, maybe in the top 30’s. What do you think? Please let us know in the comments.