February’s car registration figures were released as the SMMT calls on the Chancellor to use next week’s Budget to announce bold new measures to make new-tech zero emission-capable cars, including plug-in hybrids, more affordable for mass-market buyers. In 2020, manufacturers will bring more than 23 new battery-electric and ten plug-in hybrid electric cars to the UK to add to the more than 65 already on sale, but take-up of these new models depends on affordability and the provision of adequate charging infrastructure.
The SMMT released its UK passenger car registration figures for January shortly after the government announced its ambition to end the sale of all vehicles with an internal combustion engine, including HEVs and PHEVs, by 2035. In response to the announcement, the SMMT calls for caution. It points out that hybrids and plug-in hybrids are zero-emission capable, and therefore views both as vehicles not only bringing “significant environmental benefits today,” but also an “important stepping stone in helping motorists make the switch to a zero-emission vehicle.”