CEO Update

Summer of highs for the new car and van market

04 August 2023 #CEO Update

Despite the British summer weather looking rather bleak, July’s new car and van registrations were anything but. The month wrapped up an entire year of non-stop growth in the new car market, while van deliveries reached their highest July level since 2020.

Electrified performance also impressed, with hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicles accounting for more than a third of the new car market. The demand for battery electric cars was such that a new one was registered every 60 seconds in the month. Furthermore, according to the latest market outlook published today, this will accelerate to one every 50 seconds by the end of the year, and up to one every 40 seconds by the end of 2024. July has also been positive for battery electric vans, which saw registrations skyrocket 93.6% to achieve a 5.5% market share.

While the growth in electric vehicles hitting UK roads is significant, it must move even faster. To get even more consumers to make the switch, every means of support must be provided, from fiscal incentives to purchase reassurance – and most obviously, in ensuring drivers have full confidence that they will be able to charge wherever and whenever required, sustainably and affordably.

Progress is being made. More than 3000 chargers – a record number – were installed in the last quarter and the ratio of EVs to chargers is now improving. But we still have a long way to go. To reach the government’s minimum target of 300,000 chargers by 2030, the rate of installation must treble to almost 10,000 new charges per quarter, every quarter. Delivering this demands an overarching strategy, one that addresses the barriers but also introduces a chargepoint mandate to compel all stakeholders to do what is necessary and at pace. Drivers deserve nothing less.

Beyond the UK market, coming up soon in SMMT’s busy event agenda is our Global Trade Conference. This will take place on Wednesday 18 October and be exclusively online to ensure access for those from different time zones. The event will see senior international automotive executives, policy makers and trade experts address global and regional trade priorities for the automotive sector.

The conference is free to join and I encourage you to participate by registering here. For more information and any queries, please get in touch with

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