But trade body SMMT warns pace of chargepoint rollout continues to lag behind growing demand from EVs
Electric vehicle (EV) sales continue to go from strength to strength in the UK, hoovering up a near 18 per cent share of the entire car market last month, according to the latest figures released today by trade association SMMT show.
Around 10,400 new battery electric cars were sold in February, which in addition to 4,700 plug-in hybrid sales and 6,900 hybrid electric vehicle sales, means that in total electrified vehicles accounted for almost a third of all new cars sold in the UK last month.
It comes as the overall car market continues to struggle, however, with sales of petrol and diesel vehicles still far below that of pre-pandemic levels. Overall car sales were up 15 per cent compared to February 2021 when lockdown conditions were in place, but they are still down 26 per cent on early 2020, the figures show.
SMMT hailed “another bumper month” for battery EVs in particular, but warned of “greater concern” that the rollout of charge points to support growing demand from plug-in cars remains far behind the pace needed to enable the government’s target of ending the sale of new fossil fuel cars from 2030.
The trade association, which last month set out a blueprint for ramping up EV charging infrastructure across the UK, called on the Chancellor Rishi Sunak to use his upcoming Spring Statement later this month to offer further support to accelerate the roll out of charge point installations.
At present, the government’s Electric Vehicles Home charge Scheme, which provides funding for homeowners to install their own EV chargepoint, is set to effectively end in April, and SMMT urged the Treasury to extend it and a similar business-focused scheme beyond 2025 to help support EV uptake.
“Despite February’s traditional low registration numbers, consumers are switching to EVs in ever-increasing numbers,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes. “More than ever, infrastructure investment needs to accelerate to match this growth. Government must use its upcoming Spring Statement to enable this transition, continuing support for home and workplace charging, boosting public chargepoint rollout to tackle charging anxiety and, given the massive increase in energy prices, reducing VAT on public charging points. This will energise both consumer and business confidence and accelerate our switch to zero emission mobility.”
Meanwhile, despite concerns over the pace of the EV charging rollout, infrastructure operators continue to benefit from the EV boom.
Yesterday, US EV charging giant ChargePoint announced a 90 per cent increase in its quarterly, year-on-year revenues.
The company owns 174,000 EV charging stations worldwide, including 51,000 across Europe, in addition to 300,000 places to charge through roaming integrations.
ChargePoint said it expected to achieve annual revenues of $450m to $500m for the 2023 fiscal year, underscoring the significant and growing business opportunities emerging from the rapidly growing battery car sector.
“ChargePoint delivered another outstanding quarter, exceeding the high end of both our quarterly and annual revenue guidance and advancing our technology leadership in our commercial, fleet and residential verticals across North America and Europe,” said Pasquale Romano, president and CEO of firm. “We had numerous successes in our first year as a publicly traded company, including a 65 per cent year over year increase in annual revenue, two strategic acquisitions, expansion of our activated port count by over 60 per cent, and growing our team of world class talent.”
The news also comes in the same week as both Hyundai and Ford further strengthened their EV development plans, providing further evidence that the auto industry is committed to rapidly boosting the supply of plug-in models over the coming years.
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