UK car production falls again, EVs account for nearly a third

Although the UK produced nearly a third more cars than ever before, its electric vehicle (EV), production rose to new records in 2022. However, overall production fell dramatically.

The total vehicle production fell to a 66 year low. However, overall production dropped almost 10% between 2021 and 775,014, a drop of 40.5% compared with pre-Covid 2019.

Production fell 5.8% in 2021 and 29.3% in 2020, compared to the pre-pandemic 2019, when the UK produced 1.3mln cars. The decline began in 2016’s peak production of 1.71mln before the Brexit referendum in September.

According to SMMT’s report, 2022 saw fewer cars being sold. Only 1.6mln cars were registered, the lowest figure since 1992.

According to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, battery electric, plug-ins and hybrids accounted for 30.2% of all cars produced in the year. This was a record number of 234,066 units. That’s 4.5% more than 2021.

The UK’s automotive trade association largely blamed the fall in output on global chip shortages. These chips are needed in thousands to make modern cars. Also, structural changes within manufacturing companies that are preparing for a ban on petrol and diesel car sales by 2030.

Domestic production has been steadily falling since 2016, and is now around 40% of the 1.3mln cars that were produced in the year before the pandemic.

The most cars were produced by UK factories in the UK by Nissan, Jaguar Land Rover and MINI, Toyota, and Bentley. However, Nissan was the only manufacturer that saw growth through 2021.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of SMMT, commented on EV growth. He stated: “The potential for the sector to deliver economic growth through building more of these low emission models is obvious, but we must take the right decisions now.

“This involves defining a strategy to accelerate the upscaling and shift to electric vehicles in the UK based on the fundamental strengths of the UK automotive sector.”

The trade body predicted that domestic production would rise by 15% by 2023 due to easing semiconductor shortages. It also forecasted strong independent outlooks. By 2025, it expects the figure to surpass 1,000,000 units.

Ford Motor Company (NYSE.F) announced plans to supply components from Merseyside for 70% of its European electric vehicles by 2026.

Britishvolt, a collapsed battery company, could be bought at the last minute to boost the country’s auto supply chains sector.

The lack of charging stations for electric vehicles in public places is a problem for the industry, according to Department for Transport figures.

Labour MPs claim that the government’s targets of 300,000 public charges points by 2030 are unlikely to be met at the current rate. Last year, 9,000 units were installed.