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Corporate Fleets Fuel September's Skyrocketing EV Sales, Igniting a Month-long Auto Industry Frenzy

Fresh intel from industry bigwigs like SMMT and New Automotive uncovers a zooming demand for electric vehicles, or EVs, despite a sluggish uptick in individual buyer numbers.

Get this—September marked the 41st straight month where the battery electric vehicle (BEV) market expanded. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) just dished out their most recent data; what they revealed is pretty eye-opening. An 18.9% YoY surge in BEV sales materialized as 45,323 motorists kissed internal combustion engines goodbye, shifting gears to zero-emission wheels. Meanwhile, plug-in hybrids carved out a 6.8% market share, thanks to a stellar 50.9% uptick in registrations. Traditional hybrids? They're not lagging either—securing 13.9% of total enrollments after a 30.7% market share jump.

Yet, all that glitters isn't green. Despite a general uptick in the automotive sector, BEVs saw their market share slide just a smidgen, by 0.3%, settling at 16.6%.

Concurrently, analyst firm New Automotive's latest dossier—the Electric Car Count—unveiled that September was the second most significant month for EV sales ever. A record-breaking 42,000 new EVs hit the streets, marking a 17% YoY growth, while electric van sales? Well, they had a month like no other, with close to 3,000 new registrations.

According to New AutoMotive CEO Ben Nelmes, the September data demonstrates sustained demand for EVs despite the government's decision to delay the phase-out of new petrol and diesel car sales.

"It's great to see tens of thousands of people make the switch to cheaper, cleaner motoring despite the government's short-sighted decision to delay the deadline to end petrol and diesel car sales," Nelmes said.

The SMMT, however, introduced a crucial nuance. Their stats underscore fleet purchases are doing the heavy lifting, growing 50.6% last month alone. Conversely, private BEV registrations suffered, declining 14.3% and capturing a measly sub-10% of new private car sales.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said the slowdown in the private market underlines the importance of providing motorists with purchase incentives and other mechanisms to stimulate demand.

"A bumper September means the new car market remains strong despite economic challenges," he added. "However, with tougher EV targets for manufacturers coming into force next year, we need to accelerate the transition, encouraging all motorists to make the switch.

"This means adding carrots to the stick - creating private purchase incentives aligned with business benefits, equalizing on-street charging VAT with off-street domestic rates and mandating charge point rollout in line with how electric vehicle sales are now to be dictated. The forthcoming Autumn Statement is the perfect opportunity to create the conditions to deliver the zero-emission mobility essential to our shared net-zero ambition."

In an intriguing development on the international scene, Octopus Energy is exporting its EV public charging solution, Octopus Electroverse, to Spain, France, and Italy. Following its UK success, it aims to supercharge the European electric landscape.

In a cherry-on-top announcement, Toyota pledged to contribute around 250 personal BEVs and 50 e-wheelchair pullers for the 2024 Paris Olympics, ensuring athletes, officials, and spectators can navigate the event sustainably.


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