News article

Fleet sector drives electric vehicle sales in 2023

GRIDSERVE Electric Super Hub at Moto Grantham

The UK has just experienced its best year for new car sales since the pandemic, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Annual figures from the automotive industry trade body reported that 1.9 million new cars were registered in 2023, up 17.9 per cent on 2022 and the highest level since the 2.3 million registrations of 2019.

Across the year, a total of 315,000 battery electric vehicles were registered. That’s 50,000 units more than 2022, yet as a share of the total market they represented 16.5 per cent of the total – slightly down on last year’s 16.6 per cent. While the decline in market share of petrol and diesel continues, the market share for both hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles have both increased to plug the gap.

EV charging attendants at a GRIDSERVE Electric Super Hub

Interestingly, the vast majority of fully electric vehicle registrations (242,235) were attributed to the fleet sector, which experienced a dramatic year-on-year increase of 38.7 per cent.

Rob Buckland, Chief Sales Officer at GRIDSERVE Car Leasing, said: “The latest figures from the SMMT echo our own data and helps to highlight the transformative effect salary sacrifice schemes are having on the take-up of electric vehicles. With Benefit-In-Kind tax rates for electric vehicles frozen at just two per cent until 2025, plus plenty of other employee incentives, we’re seeing lots of private car owners deciding to lease electric cars through their company’s salary sacrifice scheme.”

Fully electric vehicles now account for one in every six cars registered in the UK, and the Tesla Model Y was the fifth most popular car overall.

Industry analysts have also commented that the final months of electric vehicle registrations were slower than predicted in anticipation of the UK Government’s Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) mandate. This came into effect on 3 January and will require 22 per cent of all vehicles sold by carmakers to be fully electric in 2024, rising to 28 per cent in 2025. If carmakers don’t meet these targets, they will have to trade allowances with other manufacturers that have complied or face significant fines.