EV sales gather momentum - making up over half of UK vehicle sales for Q1 2023

16 May 2023

  • Electric vehicles (battery; plug-in and hybrid) accounted for over half of UK vehicle sales during the first quarter of the year - new PwC research shows
  • 264,046 EVs sold (+22% YoY vs Q1 2022) - giving EVs market share of 53%
  • Hybrids most popular model for UK EV motorists at over 30% 

Sales of electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK grew by over a fifth in the first quarter of 2023, according to new research from PwC’s Electric Vehicle Sales Review for Q1 2023. The findings show that electric vehicles (battery; plug-in and hybrid) combined made up a total UK sales market share of 53%. 

The UK market saw double-digit year-on-year sales growth for each month in the quarter, with  January up 18%, February 25% and March 24%. Hybrid electric vehicles were the most popular choice for UK motorists, totalling 32% of all EVs sold, followed by battery at 15% and plug-in 6%.  The ten largest European EV markets* saw sales grow 22% YoY for Q1, reaching 1,232,000 vehicles in total.

“The research findings highlight clear consumer momentum in the UK electric vehicle market, as motorists demonstrate their desire to make the switch to electric vehicles. The fact that hybrid electric vehicles are the preferred choice in the UK above fully electric BEV models, at least currently, could perhaps point towards some of the developing factors and talking points in the market - such as how best to expand UK charging infrastructure and addressing both charge and range ‘anxiety’ felt by current or aspiring EV motorists.

“The challenge for Government and policy makers is to work out how to maximise the charging infrastructure quickly across cities and rural locations, as the assumption that everyone can access a charging point easily is a false one.”

Cara Haffey, Head of Automotive at PwC UK

The Electric Vehicle Sales Review found that battery electric vehicle (BEV) sales in all 19 analysed markets** increased by 24% YoY for Q1 23, with the Chinese market accounting for 62% of BEV sales across all combined markets. Across the top ten European markets, EVs accounted for 1,231,632 (48%) of new vehicle registrations in Q1 23. 

  • *Top ten European EV markets refers to the biggest five European markets: United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, combined with Norway, Netherlands, Austria, Sweden and Switzerland.
  • ** The 19 analysed EV markets were the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Norway, Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Turkey and the United States.
  • PwC Autofacts® and Strategy& analysed electric vehicle sales worldwide in the first quarter of 2023. The full report can be found here
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