Plug-in hybrid car market's 50% dip a 'grave concern'
The UK’s hybrid car market saw a dip of more than 50% in June according to new data The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Its figures for June 2019 suggest that new ‘plug in’ hybrid vehicles, those powered by both fuel and electricity, saw a -50.4 per cent fall in sales in just one month.
The performance tipped the overall alternatively fueled vehicle (AFV) sector into negative growth for the first time since April 2017.
The SMMT suggest that the removal of key ultra-low emission vehicle incentives and an overall decline in buyer confidence affected the market as a whole, which also affected the sale of new traditionally powered cars.
“Another month of decline is worrying but the fact that sales of alternatively fuelled cars are going into reverse is a grave concern,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.
“Manufacturers have invested billions to bring these vehicles to market but their efforts are now being undermined by confusing policies and the premature removal of purchase incentives.
“If we are to see widespread uptake of these vehicles, which are an essential part of a smooth transition to zero emission transport, we need world-class, long-term incentives and substantial investment in infrastructure. Fleet renewal remains the quickest way to address environmental concerns today and consumers should have the confidence – and support – to choose the new car that best meets their driving needs, whatever the technology, secure in the knowledge that it is safer and cleaner than ever before.”
It also reports that the month saw a 61.7 per cent increase in battery electric car registrations, but that this was not enough to curb overall negative trend caused by the steep fall in plug-in hybrid sales.
This is despite ongoing investment, which has enabled manufacturers to offer British car buyers more choice than ever before with more than 350 models now available in the UK – 44 of them plug-ins.