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Fleets and businesses buy more than two-thirds of new EVs, SMMT reveals

Date: 25 March 2021   |   Author: Sean Keywood

More than two-thirds of new electric cars on UK roads last year went to fleets and businesses, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

It says corporate registrations accounted for 73,881 new EVs in 2020, while only 34,324 went to private buyers.

Overall, 8.7% of new fleet and business - the latter classed as fleets with fewer than 25 vehicles - car registrations were EVs, while they took only a 4.6% share of new private car registrations.

The SMMT has used the data to call for more incentives for private buyers to electrify, citing the success of fleet-focused initiatives, which include very low BIK tax rates.

The SMMT therefore wants consumer incentives such as the removal of VAT for private EV purchases, as well as some measures that would benefit both fleet and private buyers, such as the maintaining of the plug-in car grant, and an increase in public charging infrastructure.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "While last year's bumper uptake of electric vehicles is to be welcomed, it's clear this has been an electric revolution primarily for fleets, not families. 

"We need incentives that tempt consumers, infrastructure that is robust and charging points that provide reassurance, so that zero-emission mobility will be possible for everyone, regardless of income or location.

"When every market is vying for these new technologies, a clear and collaborative strategy engaging all would ensure the UK remains an attractive place both to manufacture and market electric vehicles, helping us achieve our net zero ambition."