My Urban Car

October 2020 UK car sales report –

Overall October 2020 car sales are down 1.6% to 140,945 from 143,251. AFVs (alternatively fuelled vehicles) Electric Vehicles, PHEVs and hybrids continue to grow while diesel sales fall but no major change since September. Details below


Dieselstandard cars powered by diesel engines and are slowly being replaced by diesel MHEV’s

Diesel MHEValso known as Mild Hybrids these are simply a new diesel cars with the same engines and a slightly (around 2-3%) more efficient starter motor. Although marketed as hybrids they really are not real hybrids as they can’t travel an inch or even a cm on electric power. We include diesel MHEV’s our diesel totals on our charts

Petrolstandard cars powered by petrol engines and are slowly being replaced by petrol MHEVs

Petrol MHEValso known as Mild Hybrids these are simply a new petrol car with the same engines and a slightly (around 2-3%) more efficient starter motor. Although marketed as hybrids they really are not real hybrids as they can’t travel an inch or even a cm on electric power

BEV Battery Electric Vehicles. These pure electric vehicles run without any petrol or diesel engine and are set to replace all piston engine cars & vans. They are cheaper to run and maintain and reduce CO2 by over 60%+ compared to fossil fuel powered cars. Charge times are much faster than on PHEVs and on long trips usually involve brief stops of 15 – 35 mins. The record distance travelled in 24 hrs in a Tesla Model 3 including all charging time is over 1700 miles so high mileage is not an issue on the right BEV that can charge at 100kW or quicker

PHEV Plugin Hybrid Vehicles – these cars can run on petrol or diesel or electric power. They can be more efficient than pure petrol or diesel cars but are hampered on using EV mode because most have small batteries that are very slow to charge and then only manage 15 to 30 miles electric range. There are now a few PHEVs than can DC charge quickly and have range of 40-50 miles.

HEV Hybrid Electric Vehicles – these are personified by the standard Toyota Prius. All the power comes from a piston engine (you can’t plug them in and they do not “self charge” but like a BEV a hybrid uses electric motors to drive at low speed or help boost the petrol engine at higher speeds and harvests energy from braking to boost efficiency. As a result Prius sized hybrids can be more efficient in urban driving than other piston cars.

October 2020 diesel sales fall while Electric and hybrid sales rise

  • Overall diesel car sales share including MHEVs continue to be sharply down on last year at 20.2%* ( (26.7%). Diesel car sales for the year to date inc MHEVs were 280,514 compared to 537,795in 2019. Roughly halved in 12 months and great news for air quality. Non MHEV diesels are down to 14.9% of sales, a 38.4% fall since 2019
    *correction since first published
  • Total petrol sales share was down slightly 60.9% compared to 64.6% a year ago. Year to date petrol car sales are 883,058 compared to 1,327,705 last year.
  • Pure Electric BEV share was flat at 6.6% compared to 6.7% last month but well up on 2.2% in 2019. BEV sales were 9,335 compared to 3,162 in 2019. Year to date BEV sales are 75,946 compared to 28,259 last year with an average share up to 5.5% from 1.4%. In fact EV sales to October are already more than double all the 37,850 EVs sales for the whole year of 2019
  • PHEVs sales also increased share to 6.6% from 2.2% a year earlier.
  • HEVs also had a good month up to 7.8% from 5.5% last year
  • Pure electric market share is continuing to increase helped by the attraction for company car buyers of a massive personal tax saving for choosing an electric car instead of a petrol or diesel.
  • Tesla were in between delivery ships so only 511 were delivered compared to 5,823 in September
  • In the year to date sales overall fell 30.96%. Only 2 brands, Tesla and MG increased sales.
  • Tesla UK sales for the year to October were 18,578 (a 1.34% share) up from 9,357 or 0.47% a year earlier. This puts it just behind Mazda, Jaguar and Honda but ahead of brands like Lexus, Porsche, Fiat and Suzuki
  • MG which also has a strong EV focus has also seen a big increase in share from 0.51% year to date last year to 1.16% now.

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.