Electric car sales rise 130 per cent

One in five new car buyers last month chose a plug-in vehicle.

Battery electric vehicle registrations were up 130.6% year-on-year, while demand for plug-in hybrids grew by 47.3%.

Private registrations of all new car types rose by 64.1%.

Overall, demand for new cars remains significantly below pre-pandemic levels but sales of electric models continue to buck the trend.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said 115,087 new cars were registered in the UK in January.

That is an increase of 27.5% on the same month last year, when showrooms across the country were closed due to coronavirus lockdowns.

Last month’s registrations were 22.9% lower than in January 2020, which was before the virus crisis affected the industry.


Sales continue to be restricted by low consumer confidence and the global shortage of computer chips, which is limiting supply.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “Given the lockdown-impacted January 2021, this month’s figures were always going to be an improvement but it is still reassuring to see a strengthening market.

“Once again it is electrified vehicles that are driving the growth, despite the ongoing headwinds of chip shortages, rising inflation and the cost-of-living squeeze.

“2022 is off to a reasonable start, however, and with around 50 new electrified models due for release this year, customers will have an ever greater choice, which can only be good for our shared environmental ambitions.”

Oil firm highlights growth opportunities off Scotland

North Sea-focused EnQuest is on the alert for growth opportunities after nearly doubling the amount of cash it generated last year.

The company said it delivered free cash flow of around $395m (£290m) last year, against $210m in 2020.

​Scotland’s struggling retailers get ‘flicker of hope’

Retailers have been given a hope that consumers are returning to bricks and mortar shops.

Shopper footfall in Scotland was down by 16.2 per cent in January compared with the same month two years previously, before the pandemic struck.

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