Electric car uptake surges 31.8% in UK

Electric car uptake surges 31.8% in UK

Backed by generous government grants, EV uptake is surging in the UK.

  • Year-to-date electric car registrations up 31.8% versus first six months of 2015
  • April to June growth marks 22nd consecutive quarterly rise for plug-in car uptake
  • 19,252 electric cars registered so far in 2016, three months ahead of last year when it took until September to achieve this volume

Motorists in the UK are buying more electric vehicles than ever; with latest figures confirming continual quarterly rises in plug-in car uptake. Since records began in 2011, volumes of electric car registrations have risen steeply as motorists realise the benefits of owning an electric vehicle, which include low running costs, tax savings and a fun driving experience.

In the April-June period of this year, 38.0% more electric cars were registered compared to the same timeframe in 2015, building on a 27.4% pick-up in the first quarter. In addition to these quarterly gains, the first six months of this year pushed electric car registrations 31.8% ahead of the first half of 2015.

Plug-in registrations totalled 19,252 for the year-to-date, 4640 units ahead of the same period last year.

UK electric car registrations January 2011-June 2016 cumulative

UK electric car registrations January 2011-June 2016 cumulative


Jan-June electric car volumes 2011-2016

The bumper start to 2016 pushes registration volumes close to 70,000 units since government introduced its ‘Plug-in Car Grant’ in January 2011.

The rapid rise in registration volumes show more people than ever are realising the benefits of going electric, and with government support worth hundreds of pounds for home charging equipment, drivers can enjoy the convenience of a fully charged car every morning.

Transport minister John Hayes says: “I am delighted to see record numbers of motorists coming round to the benefits of cleaner, greener vehicles, which are also cheaper to run.  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. We are backing this with one of the most comprehensive support packages in the world, with more than £600m of government investment to help grow the UK market.”

Poppy Welch, head of Go Ultra Low says: “The continued growth in 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.

“Since the ‘Plug-In Car Grant’ was introduced in 2011 the variety of electric models has expanded significantly, notably so in the past two years, giving motorists more choice than ever before.”

Of the vehicles that have made up these continually-improving figures for the first half of the year, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has proved most popular with 5738 of the plug-in SUV rolling on to UK roads. The Nissan LEAF remains the most popular pure-electric car with 2336 first-half registrations in 2016.

Government support has been crucial to driving the success of electric vehicles in the UK. This includes generous purchase incentives including a grant of up to £4500 off the cost of a new car; tax benefits that could be worth thousands over the life of the car, such as the lowest rates of vehicle excise duty and company car tax, as well as support for home and public charging infrastructure contributing to the ongoing rises in uptake.

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