My Urban Car

April 2020 car sales report

Petrol and diesel sales crash while Electric cars break records

  • April 2020 has seen a crash in car sales with showrooms closed over pandemic lockdown. Overall sales are down 97.3% including a 97.6% fall in sale for diesel and 98.5% for petrol.
  • When I put together the chart showing when falling diesel sales are overtaken by rising sales of electric cars.. well it has happened even if the more permanent trend will take another hear or so.

Electric cars break UK records in April

  • Look closely though and one fuel type, Pure battery electric cars (BEVs), only fell by 9.7% compared to a year earlier.
  • BEV market share that was 0.9% of the UK market in April 2019 has risen to 31.8%. By comparison diesel share was 25% (or 26.7% including fake or mild hybrids called MHEVs. Petrol share was 35.9% while all AFVs (electric, plugin hybrid and hybrid) sales achieved a record 35.1% share driven by electric cars.
  • Drill down again at sales by brand for April and you see of 43 brands on sale in the UK 42 saw sales fall by between 60% and 90%
  • Only one brand saw sales rise, Tesla. It’s sales were up 197% rising to 822 cars from 276 a year earlier.
  • Tesla in April too 19.02% market share in the UK and 59.8% of electric car sales.
  • In fact Tesla outsold Ford and VW in April.. combined!
  • The Tesla Model 3 also again took top spot for UK car sales with 658 delivered while the Jaguar i-Pace took second spot with 367 delivered. The Vauxhall Corsa which is also sold as an EV as well as combustion engines took 3rd spot.
  • 92.6% of all Jaguar sales in the UK were Jaguar iPace EVs!
April UK car sales
April 2920 top selling cars in UK

Why have Tesla sales in the UK gone up when all others have crashed?

  1. Why? Well for once Tesla having deliveries in transit has worked to it’s advantage. While it’s Fremont factory that supplies the UK is closed cars built earlier are still in transit and arriving on ships
  2. Tesla orders have always been made via it’s website, not via dealers. Tesla are able to do hands free delivery so dealers being closed as had little impact.
  3. Tesla is well placed for an increase in electric car sales to company car drivers who can save over £10,000 in tax on benefit in kind on a Tesla Model 3 over 3 years compared to a combustion engine 3 series BMW or C class.
April 2020 car UK car sales by Brand

David Nicholson

David Nicholson Is the founder of Rivergecko Ltd & MyUrbanCar which provide consultancy and advice for drivers and fleets to speed the transition from dirty fossil fuel transport to clean vehicles powered by renewable energy on land water and air.

The @MyUrbanCar twitter feed is a source of news & reviews of electric & plugin cars and vans in the UK.
The @rivergecko twitter feed & websites bring news and opinion on cleantech transport including cars, vans, buses, trucks, shipping, rail & aviation as well as autonomous vehicles & renewable energy, air pollution & motor industry news.

David Nicholson has worked as an underwriter at Lloyd's of London since the 1980's. His interest in technology goes back many years including interactive mapping, apps, green tech, boats, solar and cars.