UK’s July EV Market Share At 9% — Up Almost 4× Year On Year


Published on August 5th, 2020 |
by Dr. Maximilian Holland

August 5th, 2020 by  

The UK saw plugin electric vehicle market share hit 9.0% in July 2020, up significantly from 2.5% in July 2019. Full battery electric vehicles continue to dominate over plugin hybrids. The overall auto market saw very strong recovery from this year’s coronavirus-slammed era, growing 11.3% compared to the same month last year.

So far this year, full battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have led, with 4.7% share in the UK auto market, compared to 3.3% share for plugin hybrids (PHEVs). The July result sees the gap reducing slightly, with BEVs at 4.7% and PHEVs at 4.3%.

The year-to-date cumulative share for passenger EVs now stands at 8.0%, up strongly from the 2.2% share at the same point in 2019. This is a decent climb over the 7.7% cumulative result at the end of June, and will continue to grow further in the months ahead.

Tesla Model 3. Image courtesy Tesla.

Industry association the SMMT doesn’t publish detailed model data, but we can surmise that the Tesla Model 3 retains the UK #1 spot for most popular EV of 2020 so far, despite not making the top 10 overall best selling vehicle list in July (as it did for the previous 4 months on the run).

Recall that the Tesla Model 3 was the UK’s best selling vehicle of any kind in the UK at the height of the lockdown, during both April and May. Other popular UK BEV models this year are likely to include the Nissan LEAF, Renault Zoe, MG ZS EV, Hyundai Kona EV, and Kia e-Niro.

MG has done particularly well in the UK this year for a small brand, mainly carried by great sales from the ZS EV, according to the company. MG has also won an award for the UK’s best value brand 2020 from Autotrader UK. 

MG Motor will boost the UK EV market further when it starts to deliver the new touring/wagon MG5 BEV later this year. The new model has a decent range of 214 miles (WLTP) and 7 year warranty, for around £25,000 after incentives. This will be the first BEV in the touring/wagon form factor in Europe.

MG5 EV. Image courtesy MG Motor.

Remember that, although no new incentive scheme was put in place for the COVID crisis, the UK has already had a generous tax scheme in place for EVs since the start of April.

Given the recent trends, the UK looks set to achieve close to 10% EV market share for full year 2020, similar to the other large European markets of France and Germany.

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About the Author

Max is an anthropologist, social theorist and international political economist, trying to ask questions and encourage critical thinking about social and environmental justice, sustainability and the human condition. He has lived and worked in Europe and Asia, and is currently based in Barcelona.
Find Max’s book on social theory, follow Max on twitter @Dr_Maximilian and at, or contact him via LinkedIn.

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