The United Kingdom recorded an 11% drop in the carbon dioxide emissions of new cars sold in 2021. This is the lowest level ever, and it can be attributed to an increasing demand for electric vehicles (“EVs”). According to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (“SMMT”), the average of greenhouse emissions dropped to 119.7g per kilometer covered.
Trends indicate that 12% of cars sold in 2021 were battery electric vehicles. Similarly, an increase in demand for hybrid vehicles was recorded as a contributing factor to the fall of carbon dioxide emissions.
Last week, the car sales figures for January were released, revealing the year-on-year revenue had increased by 27.5%. This is because in January 2021, the sector was affected by the lockdown measures that led to car showrooms being closed. The data also revealed that the market share for battery electric cars had more than doubled. The total number of electric cars sold amounted to 14,400, accounting for 12.5% of the month’s sales.
The industry is still being affected by the shortage of semiconductors. As a result, car makers are now choosing to prioritize their key products, which also include EVs because they meet the emissions standards. The lobby group SMMT said that despite the problems affecting the industry and its consumers, electric cars are key in driving growth within the industry.
Mike Hawes, the group’s chief executive, said that January’s sales figures kicked off the year to a “reasonable start.” He mentioned that this year around 50 EV models are expected to be released. This will not only provide customers with a variety to choose from but also have a positive effect on the goal of lowering CO2 emissions.
There is an expectation that the sale of EVs will increase in 2022. However, it might take time before they have a significant impact on the UK’s overall transport emissions. In a report published in May 2021, SMMT revealed that hybrid and BEVs accounted for 1.3% of the 40.35 million cars that are currently in use. According to 2019 government data, 25% of greenhouse gas emissions come from road transport.
Annually, the UK government earns about £28bn ($37.84 billion) in fuel duty imposed only on diesel and petrol car owners. As a result of motorists transitioning to electric vehicles, January recorded a dip in the revenue. MPs on the transport committee are now urging the government to work on a plan that will see owners of EVs that would see drivers get charged per mile. According to the Guardian, the MPs wrote in a report that there was no practical alternative to road pricing that would fill the gap in the country’s budget.
A major problem facing EV adoption is a shortage of charging infrastructure. According to government data, there are 28,400 public charging points across the country as of Jan. 1, 2022. The SMMT, however, estimates that the country requires at least four times that amount.
As data starts coming out regarding the inroads EVs are making with regard to curbing CO2 emissions, the ecofriendly credentials of sector players such as NIO Inc. (NYSE: NIO) will be boosted even more as their sales ramp up.
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