Diesel car sales plummet as Ulez 'demonises' fuel type as electric vehicle rates soar by 18 per cent

Diesel car sales plummet as Ulez 'demonises' fuel type as electric vehicle rates soar by 18 per cent

WATCH: Fraser Brown on electric vehicles and VAT

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 15/05/2024

- 12:52

'If strong incentives on EVs can be made, then the ZEV mandate will be smashed'

New data has shown that zero emission vehicles made up 16 per cent of the total share of new cars on the road, with experts highlighting the decline in diesel sales.

Figures from the Department for Transport revealed that more than 314,000 new cars were registered with zero tailpipe emissions last year - an increase of 18 per cent.

In total, 16 per cent of all newly registered cars in 2023 were zero emission, showing how many brands are already close to goals set out in the Zero Emission Vehicle mandate.

It states that manufacturers must sell at least 22 per cent of their new cars with zero emissions, rising to 80 per cent by the end of the decade and 100 per cent by 2035.

Do you have a story you'd like to share? Get in touch by emailingmotoring@gbnews.uk

Electric car charging

Zero emission vehicles made up 16 per cent of all new cars on the road last year


In response to the findings, the AA is now calling on the Government to provide further help for motorists to help them switch to cleaner methods.

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy at the AA, said the data was clear evidence that there was a strong appetite for electric vehicles, with dwindling diesel numbers.

However, he acknowledged that the boost in electric car sales was predominantly led by company car schemes and those making use of salary sacrifice schemes.

The expert added: “If strong incentives on EVs can be made, then the ZEV mandate will be smashed.

"Manufacturers producing good offers as well as Government support, such as scrapping VAT on new EV sales, will help those with lower incomes play their part in the switch to zero emission driving.

“The demonisation of diesel vehicles in London, through measures like the Ultra Low Emission Zone and ramped-up parking charges, have slashed their numbers by more than a fifth.

"However, although there has been a decline in diesel vehicles across the UK, its superior fuel efficiency ensures it is far from dead."

The data found that the number of privately-owned diesel cars in London plummeted by 20.3 percent last year, with those in outer London down by 23.7 per cent.

Diesel car sales are also falling outside of the capital, with the number of privately owned diesel cars nationwide down by 3.2 per cent.

Arturs Smilkstins, managing director and partner at Boston Consulting Group, commented on the latest data, saying manufacturers would be boosted by the statistics and give confidence to the industry.

He said: “Amid fears that the UK’s electric vehicle sales are stalling, these figures provide a reassuring boost to the industry. The UK’s electric vehicle market is fundamentally strong.

"Tight environmental regulations are pressuring car manufacturers to reduce emissions and ramp up EV production, while cheaper battery costs are making plug-ins increasingly competitive against petrol and diesel cars.


Diesel pump

Diesel car sales in outer London fell 23.7 per cent last year


"The EV market across the UK will continue to grow in the years ahead, and we expect global profits from new electric car sales to grow to £70billion by 2035.”

You may like