Number of electric vehicles on UK roads overtakes plug-in hybrids for the first time

A new milestone has been reached in the race in the automotive industry to convert to emission-free driving.

The number of electric vehicles on UK roads has overtaken plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) for the first time after a surge in interest.

An analysis by the RAC found that there are 332,299 electric vehicles (EVs) on the roads, compared to 327,183 PHEVs.

The news follows the highest single month for EV approvals in September when 32,721 were sold. This is compared to 21,903 in the same month of the previous year.

Full electric vehicles now make up 50.4 percent of plug-in vehicles on the road, up from 46.3 percent a year ago.

Plug-in hybrids are traditionally seen as a transition vehicle that enables emission-free driving of electric vehicles with the safety of a gasoline or diesel engine for longer journeys.

The fact that these are now outnumbered by electric vehicles shows that attitudes in favor of electric vehicles have fundamentally changed.

Electric vehicles still only make up one percent of the vehicles on the roads, but their growth has been enormous in recent years. From 2018 to 2019, the number of new electric vehicles more than doubled to over 37,000 and almost tripled to around 108,000 next year.

It is expected to hit a new high of 175,000 sales this year, a number that would have been higher if the semiconductor chip crisis hadn’t hit auto sales as badly.

RAC Director of Electric Vehicles Sarah Winward-Kotecha said, “With new vehicle sales generally weak, September was a milestone when it came to battery electric models.

“Almost as many were sold in one month as in all of 2019, and the numbers suggest they are more common on the UK’s roads today than plug-in hybrids.

“Electric car sales also far dwarfed diesel sales, with three battery electric cars being sold for every new diesel car that hit the road. This now seems to be the end of the road for diesel, as almost 67,000 fewer diesel cars were registered in September than in September 2019, which corresponds to an astonishing decrease of 86 percent in just two years. “

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