Britons ‘turning their backs’ on hybrids as drivers opt for EVs

GB News guests debate using electric cars

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Sales of plug-in hybrid vehicles continue to slide with August showing a 23 percent decline, followed by a further 11.5 percent in September. September was a bumper month for car sales, with 225,269 new cars registered, including the one-millionth registration of an electric vehicle.

However, hybrid vehicles made up just 12,281 sales, which is an 11.5 percent drop compared to last year, according to data from the SMMT.

Hybrids, or PHEVs, have a current market share of just 5.5 percent, only slightly higher than diesel at 4.6 percent.

This is in line with a year-to-date trend of plug-in hybrid sales being down almost 16 percent since the start of the year.

Fully electric vehicles remain very popular amongst buyers, with year-on-year sales in August up by over 35 percent (and almost 50 percent year-to-date).

A similar trend can be seen in September when car registrations spike thanks to the new “72” number plate.

Electric cars saw a 16.5 percent increase compared to 2021, outperforming other popular vehicle types.

So far, almost 250,000 electric cars have joined UK roads since the start of the year.

This is a sign that drivers are bypassing PHEVs, which were previously seen as a natural stepping stone to pure electric vehicles. 

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Political uncertainty, supply chain issues and the cost of living crisis continue to hamper car sales.

Stuart Masson, Editorial Director at The Car Expert, commented on the figures and the decline in the popularity of hybrids.

He said: “This isn’t the first month that we’ve seen PHEV sales decline sharply, but the trend now seems to be set in stone.

“British buyers are turning their backs on PHEVs and making the leap to fully electric cars.

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“Previously seen as the best of both worlds, buyers are viewing PHEVs differently now. 

“It depends on your perspective but looking at the trend, you could say that motorists think they are the worst of both worlds.

“This isn’t necessarily really bad news for car manufacturers because many of them are making huge profits and buyers are choosing smaller, greener and cheaper models which actually suit their needs. 

“Dacia and MG, for example, have basically doubled their market share this year compared to 2021.”

Year-on-year sales of fully electric cars have improved by nearly 50 percent, with buyers increasingly convinced that it is the powertrain of choice and manufacturers continue to roll-out new models with increasingly impressive battery ranges.

The Government plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 in a bid to slash emissions and reach net zero targets.

This will be done through a two-step plan, with step two meaning all new cars and vans be fully zero emission at the tailpipe from 2035.

Between 2030 and 2035, new cars and vans can be sold if they have the capability to drive a significant distance with zero emissions.

This will include plug-in hybrids or full hybrids, with this being defined through a consultation.

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