Sales of new cars in the UK increased again last month, new figures out today revealed, marking the tenth successive month of sales growth.
New car sales increased by 16.7 per cent on the previous month, according to new data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Electric cars made up an 16.9 per cent of new car sales for the month, up 58.7 per cent on April’s sales figures.
The figures show that supply chain issues were easing, the group said, but that sales were still at 21 per cent below pre-pandemic levels.
“After the difficult, Covid-constrained supply issues of the last few years, it’s good to see the new car market maintain its upward trend,” Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said.
“The fact that growth is increasingly green growth is hugely encouraging,” Hawes added.
The SMMT said that high levels of investment was boosting the UK’s transition to electric vehicles (EVs), but warned that the speed of the shift still “needs to accelerate.”
“We must increase demand and help any reticent driver overcome any concerns about electric vehicles,” Hawes said. “This will require every stakeholder – industry, government, charge-point operators and energy companies – to play their part, accelerating investment to drive decarbonisation.”
The calls come following warnings from the sector that post-Brexit trading arrangements could prompt an exodus of EV production from the country.
The government has also faced criticism for poor provision of EV charging infrastructure, which has put some drivers off making the switch.
“The continued strength of the new car market will soon depend on substantial order growth in the electric segment,” Ian Plummer, commercial director at Auto Trader, said. “Sales of EVs are moving in the right direction, but we need to see sustained momentum – less than 10 per cent of new car enquiries are for EVs on Auto Trader currently.”
Lisa Watson, director of sales at Close Brothers Motor Finance, said: “As manufacturers consider the government’s net zero plans and ambitions for the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel vehicles, there is still a need for further support.”