The recession in car sales has deepened, with the number of cars registered to private buyers falling by 13 per cent last month. The number of vans being sold, often taken as a barometer of the health of British commerce, dropped by 11 per cent. Investors in green cars and campaigners for environmental reform can take some heart, though. Nearly 10 per cent of all cars sold will run at least some of the time on electric motors rather than a conventional internal combustion engine. Latest data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders showed that new car registrations fell by 6.7 per cent last month. Total sales in the year to date are running at about 6,000 fewer cars per month at 2.005 million. The figures appear to give a snapshot of the confidence within the business community. Car sales to fleets were flat but sales to businesses that run fewer than 25 vehicles dropped 30 per cent. Sales of light commercial vehicles to business fell for a seventh month running. The society said that 14,213 electrified cars were registered last month. There have been 140,000 electrified cars registered this year, of which 55 per cent are hybrid vehicles that run on an electric motor for only a few miles. The bestselling and best-known in the class is the Toyota Prius. The rest of the electrified sales are plug-ins: either hybrids with a rechargeable battery that can switch to a combustion engine after a few dozen miles; or pure battery electrics, where the technology is allowing cars to run for more than 100 miles – and in some cases more than 200 miles – on a single charge.
Times 6th Nov 2019 read more »