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The UK’s millionth electric vehicle hits the road


The UK automotive sector passed a new milestone in September, as the UK’s road network welcomed the millionth battery electric vehicle (BEV), according to recent data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

While BEVs are still very much in the minority on the UK’s roads, the news demonstrates that the considerable investment that the automotive sector has made in developing electric vehicles is starting to yield results. While many prerequisites for BEVs are already present—such as specialist fluids like the Castrol ON range of transmission oil, coolant, and grease—a broader shift to BEVs may need accelerated investment in charging infrastructure.

The demand for battery electric vans also rose sharply on the year, with it up from 2.9% in September 2021 to 4.4% this year, a rise of 70%. In a blog post, the Chief Executive of the SMMT, Mike Hawes, said that with a wider range of emission-free vans on the market, many businesses were:

“…benefitting from lower taxation, purchase incentives and zone charge exemptions. As a result, demand for these models has increased by 52.9% year on year from January to September—although there is significant distance to travel to match the passenger car sector, never mind decarbonising the entire commercial vehicle fleet.”

The overall UK automotive market experienced a second consecutive month of growth, despite supply chain issues continuing to hinder manufacturers from fulfilling their order backlogs. This meant that new registrations for September this year were still 34.4% lower than they were prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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