Demand for electric vehicles hits new high

Demand for electric vehicles hits new high
The demand for electric vehicles (EVs) has risen by a third over the past year, according to new figures.

Sales of EVs for the first half of 2016 stood at record levels, figures from Go Ultra Low, the joint government and industry campaign to increase consumer awareness, show.

Registrations for EVs were up 31.8% compared to those for the same period last year.

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This year, there have already been 19,252 EVs registered in the UK, up from 14,612 for January to June 2015. Poppy Welch, head of Go Ultra Low, said: “The continued growth in the uptake of electric cars speaks for itself as registration records continue to be broken by motorists encouraged by the benefits electric motoring can bring.

“As awareness grows and motorists see the wide variety of vehicles already on UK roads coupled with benefits such as running costs from as little as 2p per mile, more drivers than ever are becoming motivated to go green.”

Go Ultra Low has also started an initiative in Milton Keynes to ensure around 15,000 free “green parking permit” spaces are available for low-emission vehicles.

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Transport Minister John Hayes said: “The low-emission sector supports over 18,000 UK jobs and is a key pillar in our ambition for a low carbon, high tech and high skills economy.

“We want to make the UK a world leader in electric vehicle uptake and manufacture, to ensure that by 2050 every car and van on our roads is a zero emission vehicle.”

A statement that follows Richard Branson's ambitious announcement that ‘All cars on road could be electric within 15 years’, last month.

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Helping the adoption of EVs is the fact that the number of charging stations is also growing.

Currently, there are 4,100 charging stations in the UK, up from a few hundred in 2011.

By 2020, Nissan estimates there will be 7,900 charging stations in the UK, with petrol station numbers dropping to 7,870.

The volume of petrol stations has been in decline for a number of years, falling from 38,000 in 1970 to just 8,500 today.

Nissan’s electric vehicle manager, Edward Jones, said: “We believe the tipping point for mass EV uptake is upon us. The charging infrastructure is keeping pace and paving the way for convenient all-electric driving.”

Copyright Press Association 2016. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.