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UK Plugin EV Share Grows YoY, BMW Leads In May

The UK saw plugin electric vehicles take 18.3% share of the auto market in May, from 14.7% YoY. Full battery electrics grew share almost 1.5× YoY, and plugin hybrids lost share. Overall auto volumes were down over 34% from pre-pandemic seasonal norms, at 124,394 units.

Market Share Trends

The combined plugin total of 18.3% in May comprised 12.4% full battery electrics (BEVs), and 5.9% plugin hybrids (PHEVs). Last year, May 2021 saw shares of 8.4% and 6.3%, respectively, so BEVs have again grown strongly while PHEVs remained largely flat.

Diesel-only share remained weak at 6.1%, from 9.9% YoY. Petrol-only share was at 45.6% from 48.4% YoY. Combined share of combustion-only powertrains will fall below 50% permanently, in August or September at the latest.

Best Selling BEV Brands

With the UK’s long-term favourite BEV brand Tesla temporarily stymied by earlier Shanghai production lockdowns, other bands had a chance to shine in May. BMW took the lead, with Kia and Volkswagen in second and third place.

Taking a step back to look at the 3-month view, Tesla still has an overwhelming lead, with a BEV market share close to that of the next three brands combined.

Significant movers are Fiat, with roughly 3 times the volume over the most recent trailing quarter compared to the previous one. Likewise MG Motor is around 2.3× up over the same period, and Citroen and Peugeot are 2.0× up and 1.9× up, respectively.

This relatively strong performance by Stellantis brands resulted in a group share of 14.4% from March to May, compared to 10.1% over the previous 3 months.

This result was still only enough to secure Stellantis 4th spot in the manufacturing group rankings however, just behind Hyundai Motor Group, which recently started to ship initial units of Genesis-brand BEVs to the UK.

Tesla still has the outstanding lead with 20%, with Volkswagen Group in second with 15.3%:


There is both economic and political uncertainly in the UK at the moment, with inflation at record highs, especially affecting food and fuel prices, and a government crisis also.

Demand for plugin vehicles is certainly growing strongly against the background of record road-fuel prices, but supply of plugins is very limited and waiting lists are very long, as they are elsewhere in Europe.

This combination of forces should translate into diminishing volumes of combustion-only sales and relatively flat volumes of plugin sales YoY, which will still give plugins a growing share of the overall auto market.

This being the case, we can expect combined plugin share of high 30s or perhaps even breaking the 40% threshold by the end of this year.

What are your thoughts on the UK and European auto markets? Please join in the discussion below.


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