Cox Automotive has released its ‘new and used car market’ forecast for the UK, which is poised for a significant shift towards electric vehicles (EVs) by 2028. 

The forecast highlights that EVs are set to make up 28% of new car registrations by 2028. This marks a 160% surge in EV registrations compared to the 2020-2023 period, equating to 2.3 million units.  

Hybrid are expected to grow, representing 25% of registrations with two million units sold.  

Meanwhile, the forecast, which includes fuel-type breakdowns for the first time, projects a stark decline for diesel and petrol cars.  

Over four years, the share of diesel vehicles will decrease to just 3%, with 62,000 units registered in 2027.  

In contrast, the share of petrol vehicles will plummet to just 35% by 2028, with 3.5 million registrations over the same period. 

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Cox Automotive’s study found that the composition of the UK car parc has also evolved, with EVs and hybrids increasing their shares since 2016. 

Internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles have suffered the most, with their market share falling from 95% in the 2016-2019 period to 71% in 2020-2023.  

Cox Automotive forecasts a further 35% drop by the end of 2027, indicating that only 784,000 new ICE vehicles will be registered in 2027, compared to the 1.2 million in 2023. 

Diesel declined from a 38% share to 13% between the 2016-2019 and 2020-2023 periods.  

By 2023, diesel, including mild-hybrid variants, accounted for just 8% of new registrations. This is expected to shrink to 3% by 2028, with a loss of an additional 488,000 vehicles over four years. 

Petrol volumes have remained relatively stable. Cox Automotive predicts petrol’s share of all registrations falling to 51% by the end of this year and to 35% by 2028, a loss of 2.3 million petrol-powered vehicles from the used market by 2027-end. 

Cox Automotive insight director Philip Nothard said: “Manufacturers will continue to be driven by legislation rather than consumer demand and ICE will be all but gone from the UK’s new car market long before the 2035 deadline. For used car retailers, this means a battle for the best stock, for consumers it means diminishing choice and above-inflation price increases.”