EY's David Borland on the Evolving EV Battery Landscape

UK Motor Industry Records Strong Growth, Driven by Battery and Plug-in Hybrid Registrations
The Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders has released data on battery & plug-in hybrid registrations. EY’s David Borland, addresses EV growth

The UK motor industry continues to grow, with 142,876 new car registrations recorded in January 2024, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Yet this increase was due to the uptake of Battery Electric Vehicle registrations, which were up 21% year-on-year, in addition to Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle registrations, which rose 31.1% compared to January 2023. 

“In line with the trend the sector saw throughout last year, fleet sales once again were solely responsible for January’s growth, with an increase of 29.9% year-on-year, while retail was down 15.8%,” says David Borland, EY UK & Ireland Automotive Leader. “This means that almost two-thirds of cars sold were to fleet, versus the traditional 50/50 split of fleet and retail.”

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EY's David Borland is optimistic about EV uptake and resilience in 2024

Borland is dedicated to EV uptake. He joined EY in 2018, and is now a Global Client Service Partner and UK&I Automotive Leader. Previously, Borland was Groupe PSA’s UK CIO, UK board member and European IT Director for Opel and Vauxhall brands. He has a background in engineering, having gained his degree in Electronic Engineering from Coventry University and started his career as a Manufacturing Engineer at Jaguar Land Rover, as well as Siemens and General Motors. 

Borland previously spoke with EV magazine to discuss how governments are impacting EV uptake. Read the full interview here

Despite its global struggles, Borland also sees a hopeful change for the supply chain.

“There is positive news on the supply side as well with manufacturing growth for 2023 at 17%, representing the best year since 2019,” he says. “The deferral of the ‘rules of origin’ legislation will provide further impetus to automotive manufacturing, in the UK and continental Europe.

“While the new year will undoubtedly present economic and regulatory challenges, the market is showing robust momentum as it heads into 2024 with further volume increases forecast for the year. This upward trend, coupled with the intensified competition from new market entrants, positions 2024 as another year of opportunity for the UK car industry to demonstrate its resilience and innovation.”

Challenges for OEMs to achieve Zero Emission Vehicle mandate goals

Regardless of the growth in BEV sales, the market share for BEVs was lower than 15% for the first time in a year, in January. Borland feels that this highlights the challenge that Original Equipment Manufacturers have to meet sustainable goals.

“The target of ensuring at least 22% of their sales are accounted for by Zero Emissions Vehicles as part of the ZEV Mandate, which came into law at the start of this year,” says Borland. 


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