So, what a strange and challenging year for us all! With almost every industry having to adapt to a new way of life and working, the electric car industry has come out of lock down with some positive figures on its side.
Sales of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids accounted for a combined 13.9% of the market, up 7.3% from last year, in a sign of the accelerating change to cars with lower carbon exhaust emissions. According to preliminary data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), consumers took ownership 22,000 electric cars and another 17,000 plug-in hybrids.
As we know, car registration numbers change in the UK in March (and September) each year, meaning many buyers delay their purchase until then in order to keep a higher resale value. However, the pandemic unfortunately has depressed sales for more than a year, and the latest data shows that last month (March 21), numbers were still down about 37% below average March levels of 450,000 between 2010 and 2019.
In comparison with March 2020, when the first lock down began, the market has improved. The industry has seen an increase of 11% last month, taking the figure to 284,000 new electric vehicles on the roads.
Sales data should also prove to be very impressive in the next few months. In the early stages of the Spring pandemic 2020, all dealerships across the UK were forced to close. In April 2020 alone, sales dropped a staggering 97%. To put this into perspective, this is the lowest recorded figure since the aftermath of the Second World War!
But, let’s focus on Porsche and how their own figures are complementing the recovery……
The German manufacturer has noted a record year for their new fully electric Taycan. It’s fair to claim that the EV supercar is quickly becoming one of the brand’s most important vehicles and the very fact that they are preparing for a production capacity of up to 40,000 vehicles per year underscores the internal high regard in which the car is held, and not just in Stuttgart.
In 2020 alone, Porsche delivered just over 20,000 vehicles. Not only is this ground-breaking for the manufacturer, but given that the majority of 2020 was controlled, in the extreme, by the restrictions of the pandemic, the numbers look even more impressive.
It doesn’t stop there, there is still so much more room to grow. With the less expensive 4S & RWD versions coming on to the market imminently, coupled with an already confirmed 500% increase in Q1 sales (2021/2020), it’s possible (probable?) that Porsche will exceed their 40,000 deliveries target.
If a premium, high-value, EV is commanding such attention and demand, its little surprise that the wider electric vehicle market is looking so buoyant. Yes, the Taycan is an aspirational car to many, however, whilst it’s impact on other vehicle sales is almost impossible to quantify, it’s pretty clear that it is helping to raise the profile of the ‘movement’.