With increasing consumer demand and the greater availability of electric models, the number of electric cars in the UK is growing at a rapid rate. As of the end of December 2023, there are now more than 975,000 fully electric cars on UK roads and a further 590,000 plug-in hybrids.

On this electric vehicle (EV) market stats page, Zapmap tracks the cumulative number of electric vehicles on UK roads, the growth in electric vehicle sales, and the proportion of new car sales that have a plug – either battery-electric vehicles or plug-in hybrids. The number of electric vans being sold each month are also tracked.

How many electric cars are there in the UK?

As of the end of December 2023, there are around 975,000 fully electric cars on UK roads. The chart below shows growth of electric car registrations from 2019 to the present day.

Nearly 315,000 battery-electric cars were registered in 2023, a growth of 18% on the number registered in 2022.

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Cumulative number of battery-electric cars in the UK (2019 to date)

Source: SMMT, December 2023

What proportion of cars sold each month are electric?

In December 2023, 19.7% of all new car registrations were electric cars, with 27,841 new electric cars registered.

Note that, in the UK, March and September are new registration plate months, which accounts for the twice-yearly peaks in electric car sales and, historically, a drop in market share in these periods.

Number of new battery-electric cars and market share, monthly

Source: SMMT, December 2023

How many plug-in cars are there in the UK?

As of the end of December 2023, there were around 1,560,000 plug-in cars, with around 975,000 battery-electric cars and 590,000 PHEVs registered.

In 2023, more than 452,000 plug-in hybrid and battery-electric cars were registered, showing a growth of 41% on 2022. There was also a significant shift away from plug-in hybrids towards battery-electric cars, with plug-in hybrid sales declining year on year, while battery-electric vehicle sales have increased.

Cumulative number of plug-in cars registered in the UK (2019 to date)

Source: SMMT, December 2023

What proportion of cars sold each month are plug-in hybrid or electric?

The proportion of all new cars sold in December 2023 that were either fully electric or plug-in hybrid is 28.3%. In December 2023 a total of 40,003 new cars with a plug were registered in the UK.

Number of new plug-in cars and market share, monthly

Source: SMMT, December 2023

Electric car sales: How has the electric car market share grown over time?

At the end of 2016, just 0.4% of all new vehicles registered were electric. By 2023 this had risen to 16.5% of new car registrations. A further 7.4% of all new cars registered were plug-in hybrids, making the total market share for new cars registered with a plug in 2023 23.9%. These numbers reflect both the increase in demand for electric vehicles and the decline in demand for traditional, particularly diesel, cars.

Since 2019, the gap between the percentage of PHEV sales and BEV sales has widened, as BEVs continue to grow in popularity. In 2024, we only expect to see this trend accelerate as BEVs appeal to an increasing number of drivers.

Annual market share – plug-in market share of new car registrations (2019 to date)

Source: SMMT, December 2023

How many electric vans are there in the UK?

As of the end of December 2023, there were more than 55,000 electric vans in the UK.

Last year, the number of electric vans sold in the UK picked up significantly. One factor here is increased demand, but the upwards trend is also thanks to a large number of new models coming to market, seeing what was once a very small choice of models expand dramatically.

Find out more in our Guide to Electric Vans, or see the charts below to see the profile of new registrations of battery-electric vans in the UK since 2020.

Cumulative number of battery-electric vans registered in the UK (2020 to date)

Source: SMMT, December 2023

Last year saw the biggest annual increase in the number of electric van registrations, with almost 17,000 electric vans registered, showing a growth of 30% on 2021.

How many new electric vans are registered each month?

Electric van registrations continue to rise in absolute numbers, with 2,964 new registrations in December 2023. The chart below shows the number of registrations of battery-electric vans each month in 2022 and 2023.

Number of new battery-electric van registrations by month

Source: SMMT, December 2023

How has the market share of electric vans grown over time?

The number of electric vans as a proportion of all new vans increased from 3.6% in 2021 to 5.9% in 2022. We only expect this percentage to increase in 2024 as an increasing range of electric vans come to market.

Annual market share – battery-electric market share of new van registrations (2020 to date)

Source: SMMT, December 2023

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