United Kingdom

Electric car ownership jumps 50pc in a year

The RAC said that while only one in nine fossil fuel vehicles was commercially owned, the ratio was around 50-50 for electric private and companies cars.

The organisation urged the Government to consider scrapping VAT on new electric cars to convince more drivers to make the switch.

Rod Dennis, a spokesman for the RAC said: “It’s important that the environmental and financial benefits afforded by the switch to electric cars are shared by drivers right across the country. Our analysis shows the extent to which the south and east of England currently dominate when it comes to the numbers that are currently in private hands.” 

Last month, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps launched a consultation on plans to improve electric car take up by making charging in public as easy as buying petrol.

The scheme includes proposals to make it easier for drivers to compare charger prices online and also look up which chargers are available and compatible with their car in real time.

Electric car ownership has jumped by more than 50 percent over the last year, new research by the RAC has found.

The breakdown service said over 30,000 new private vehicles were recorded on the UK’s roads at the end of 2020 compared to the same period the year before.

However, it warned that the now 80,000 privately owned electric cars was still a tiny percentage of the overall 32 million vehicles on the UK's roads.

The findings come as the Government is set to ban the purchase of new petrol and diesel cars in 2030, and then the sale of hybrid vehicles by 2035.

Previous RAC research has shown that many drivers are still put off switching to an electric car as they are considered more expensive and more difficult to fuel in public, as chargers are far less prevalent than petrol stations.

RAC analysis of Department for Transport figures showed the number of privately owned electric vehicles jumped from 56,000 in 2019 to 86,000 in 2020.

When company and commercial cars are added in, there are now a total of 213,000 electric vehicles on the UK’s roads.

The data showed the London borough of Barnet now has the greatest number of electric car owners, with 1,235, followed by Wiltshire on 1,075 and Cornwall on 899.

South Wales was found to be the area with the lowest take-up of electric cars, with Merthyr Tydfil only registering 21 vehicles and Blaenau Gwent 27 vehicles.

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