The latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), an industry body, find that EVs will command nearly 18 per cent of the new car market by the end of the year.

Fleets of corporate vehicles are leading the electric transition, but the end of incentives for private consumers is dampening mass market demand, the body said.

Last year, the Department for Transport announced the closure of the grant scheme for electric cars, claiming that a “mature market” has already been created.

The SMMT criticised the move at the time, saying it sent the “wrong message” to consumers. It is now calling for support for private buyers to be reinstated in line with incentives provided to businesses.

The removal of the Plug-in Car Grant left Britain as the only major European market with no consumer EV incentives, yet it has the most ambitious timeline for the EV transition. Following its removal, sales to private buyers fell from more than one in...