Sales of pure electric vehicles could almost double next year to 330,000, according to expert analysis.
The figures, which do not include plug-in hybrid vehicles, are a significant increase on the 183,000 sold last year.
The prediction comes from electric vehicle leasing company DriveElectric, which uses its own intelligence of the market to forecast battery electric car and van registrations in the UK.
It believes that sales will start off fairly slow but then ramp up around the halfway mark.
However, the car industry has faced a couple of difficult years, and DriveElectric points to various factors that could affect its predictions going forward – both positively and negatively.
Vehicle shortages caused by the semiconductor computer chip crisis continue to bite, and are expected to continue until mid-2022. Demand will continue to outstrip supply until then.
Increasing energy bills will also make EVs more expensive to run, while the home charger grant will end in March 2022. While this latter point won’t affect EV sales drastically, it will reduce the number of owners who install a home charger, which could increase the strain on the public network.
There are more factors driving increased uptake than slowing it down, though. For example, a large number of car manufacturers are opening new electric vehicle factories or adapting existing ones, with many opening this year.
For instance, Audi’s Ingolstadt plant in Germany, Mercedes-Benz in the USA and Hungary, and Stellantis in the UK.
Furthermore, the UK’s public charging infrastructure will continue to grow, making EV ownership more appealing, while an increased number of electric models on sale increases consumer choice.
Finally, UK businesses are being encouraged and incentivised to reduce their carbon footprints, with many making the switch to zero-emission fleets when it’s time to renew vehicles.
Mike Potter, managing director at DriveElectric, said: “EV registrations will continue to increase, however issues such as the semiconductor shortage will still have an impact on the availability of vehicles as we enter 2022.
“We see this challenge improving by mid-2022 and sales for the remainder of the year should offset the slow start, helped by yet more new EV models coming to market.”
DriveElectric believes EV sales will account for half of the market from 2025 ahead of the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel vehicle sales.