Electric Car Market Statistics for 2020

Published by SMMT

The electric car market is growing quickly, with more than 128,500 pure-electric cars on UK roads at the end of May 2020 – and over 315,000 plug-in models including plug-in hybrids (PHEVs). The most recent set of figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that pure-electric models accounted for 6% of total new car registrations, whilst adding in PHEVs takes that figure up to 10%.



It’s been an extremely positive first half of 2020 for the electric car market. June’s figures saw a 262% increase in pure-electric registrations compared to the previous year, and PHEVs grew 117%. That’s compared to hybrids (+19%), petrol (-40%), and diesel (-60%), and an overall decline of 35%. June follows on from recent successful months, which saw pure-EVs in May as the only fuel type to increase sales, as all other sectors declined by at least 50%, and petrol & diesel markets both declined more than 90%. May carried on from April’s record EV market share and strong performance in a number of areas, despite it being the first full month of coronavirus-imposed lockdown in the UK.

Registrations for pure-EVs in the first six months of 2020 are up 86% compared to 2019. Almost 31,000 pure-EVs have been sold in 2020 to the end of June. Looking at all plug-in vehicles, that total rises to 50,500 units.

It’s an encouraging trend that looks to see 2020 continuing positive sales found in 2019. More than 72,700 electric cars were sold last year – over 22,000 pure-EVs and almost 35,000 PHEVs – comfortably beating 2018’s combined total of 59,700. Average pure-electric market share has also risen significantly, currently sitting at 4.7%, up from 1.7% for the whole of 2019. For 2020 to date, plug-in models make up 7.7% of all new cars sold.

The combined EV market share has shifted significantly upwards in the past year or so. In August 2019, the market share set a new record at 4.4%, before dropping to what was then a still healthy 3.8% in September – a traditional strong month for the car industry all round because of the new numberplate. October increased back to 4.4%, and since then, the share hasn’t dropped below 5.7%. It reached 7.3% in March 2020, before the shooting up to 34% in April 2020 – the first month of lockdown – maintaining a strong performance in May 2020 at 16%, and June’s figures of 9.5% erpresent significant sustained growth as dealerships in England reopened at the start of the month.

With increased supply of electric and plug-in hybrid cars, plus new models being launched with increasing regularity, the increasing trends are only going to accelerate over the course of the next few months.

The following sections present UK sales of electric cars and vans since 2010, and the total number of EVs registered in the UK. Also charted are the number of models currently available as well as the number of publicly available charging points according to the Zap-Map database.

Note: The terms ‘electric cars’ and electric vehicles’ on this page refers to cars and vans that are zero-emission capable by running on electric power only for a reasonable range. This includes pure-electric vehicles (EVs)plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs), and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCEVs). With the exception of the tiny number of FCEVs on the road, this essentially comprises any vehicle that is able to be recharged via a plug, and excludes conventional hybrids.

How many electric vehicles have been sold in the UK?

SMMT figures are showing a strong start to 2020 for the electric car market, with huge increases in registrations compared to the previous year for each of the first three months of 2020. Even April’s lockdown figures were only down 57% compared to 2019, during a time when people were restricted in going out and buying new cars – pure-EVs were only down 10% for April 2020. The year’s figures to date have seen almost 50,500 electric vehicles sold, of which more than 60% are pure-electric.