The popularity of alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs) has continued to surge in the automotive industry, despite an overall fall in new vehicle registrations for January 2019.
Figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show just how the tide is turning for electric vehicles.
In January, the number of AFVs registered grew by more than a quarter when comparing to the same month of 2018; the 26.3% increase is not insignificant, and highlights the demand for electric, plug-in and hybrid vehicles.
It is an important time for the acceleration to these vehicles. The government’s policies are directing people and businesses this way, with long term aims to ensure transport – and infrastructure – are greener and more environmentally friendly.
Electric vehicles are key to this; the Department for Transport (DfT) has allocated funding to 17 local authorities so that charging infrastructure is put in place, and bodies such as the National Infrastructure Commission has backed calls from a select committee which encouraged the government to be even more ambitious in encouraging uptake of electric vehicles.
This included calls for the ban on petrol and diesel vehicles to be brought forward from the initial 2040 target.
Either way, the demand for AFVs shows that these targets are not unrealistic; last year, the rise in these type of vehicles grew by a fifth, and the trend for January 2019 has continued.
Already, the market share in these more environmentally friendly vehicles has increased, from 5.3% in January 2018 to 6.8% in January 2019.
This performance also supports the forecast of the sector, which expects registrations of these vehicles to increase by more than 25% by the end of the year.
And Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, has called for policies to encourage further take-up of these vehicles.
He said: “We need supportive policies to encourage buyers to invest in new, cleaner vehicles that best suit their driving needs – from the latest petrols and diesels to an ever growing range of exciting electrified vehicles.
“This would be good for the environment and good for the industry and those who depend on it.”