Reasons to be cheerful, 2023
At the time I’m writing these words, the latest figures for car and van registrations from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) are being digested. The November numbers are now out and it makes for promising reading. Overall, the UK car market was up 23.5% – at 142,889 units – compared with November 2021. It’s the fourth consecutive month of year-on-year growth in the automotive world.
Especially pleasing for the fleet segment was a 45% increase in registrations for the month (year-on-year), going from just over 51k last year to 74,184. However, the year-to-date figure is still lagging behind 2021’s total and even a fruitful December is unlikely to be enough to surpass it.
But given the year we’ve had, it’s probably best to take the wins, especially when delving a bit deeper into how alternative powertrains have fared. Pure electric registrations are up 35.2% – at 29,372 units, while hybrid numbers rose 66.9% in November compared with 2021, at 16,066 cars. Interestingly, plug-in hybrids were the only category to see a reverse in November (alongside non-mild hybrid diesels), but there were still more than 10,000 registered last month.
The picture painted by the SMMT is a mixed one – in terms of registration numbers, but also the spread of powertrain options available to drivers. This choice – as well as signs that the semiconductor shortage is allowing a broader range of cars to be built and offered to drivers – is a good thing. Coupled with other mobility options that are cost-effective, less harmful to the environment and more efficient, it’s a good time to be looking at your options. The switch to EV doesn’t need to be an immediate one or – as the registrations suggest – a direct one. Full hybrids and plug-ins remain an important proving ground for those who are keen to test the water.
Hydrogen is another power source still in contention and under development. Toyota recently announced news to carry on development of a fuel cell Hilux, while BMW has committed to small-scale production of the iX5 Hydrogen. They might not be for everyone, but isn’t it great to have plenty of choice?
This is the final EV Fleet World for 2022, so I wish you all a pleasant and relaxing festive period and look forward to bringing your more New Year cheer in these pages throughout the following 12 months and beyond!
John Challen Editor
“Especially pleasing for the fleet segment was a 45% increase in registrations for the month (year-on-year), going from just over 51k last year to 74,184.”