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AFVs continue to increase market share

AFVs continue to increase market share

Alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) sales are now outpacing conventional diesel engines and their market share is continuing to grow. The market share of AFVs currently stands at over 25% of all new car registrations for 2020 so far, according to the latest data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), whereas diesel is below 17% and petrol stands at almost 58%.

The tumultuous year, which saw dealerships closed for an extended period due to the coronavirus pandemic, has seemingly done little to dampen the consumer interest in alternative engine types. For the September plate change, when the new 70-plate came into circulation, AFVs market share rose to just under 32%, against a backdrop of a 4.4% overall decline in new car registrations.

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Is the future of AFVs secure?

AFVs is a broad term that encompasses a range of hybrid vehicle types, as well as pure battery electric. Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV), Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV), and Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle (MHEV) have all shown significant growth when compared with previous years.

However, these engine types currently fall under the Government’s 2035 ban on new petrol and diesel vehicles. Initially planned for 2040, the ban had been moved forward five years. When this comes into force, the only new vehicles rolling onto our streets will be battery electric (BEV) and those powered with hydrogen fuel cells.

Dozens of prominent UK businesses have come together to call for the ban to be brought forward even further – to 2030. Founding member BT Group has been joined by Dixons Carphone, E.ON, Heathrow, Lime and SSE, among others, on the UK Electric Fleets Coalition. The group of 27 companies operates in excess of 400,000 cars and vans and wants the UK Government to target 100% zero emission car and van sales by 2030.

Are consumers ready for Electric Vehicles?

Almost three-quarters of respondents to an Auto Trader survey said they would consider buying an electric car in the next four years. The poll of 2,025 UK drivers also found that 70% would be interested in leasing an electric vehicle for two or three years before they commit to buying one outright. The reason? 40% of respondents had doubts about whether an electric car would suit them or that they were all they claim to be.

Among other findings, 51% said range anxiety put them off buying an EV, 49% were worried about the lack of available charging points, 44% were concerned about the cost of the vehicles and 42% said the amount of time it would take the battery to recharge was an issue.

While there are clearly still concerns putting some motorists off buying an EV at this moment in time, demand is growing – rising to a 5.4% market share of new car registrations in 2020 compared with 1.3% last year.

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