Electric Cars Popularity and Sales Soar High in the UK
In recent years, the increase of electric vehicles (EV's), in the UK roads has been actively supported by factors like EV grants and incentives, shift in demand to the EV by the UK population and increase in public charging locations. For example, by March 2016, over 71,000 EV's had been registered by the UK transport authorities. In addition, the UK constructed over 10,000 public charging spots in different locations across the UK. All this is because of certain factors that we will discuss later in this article.
Moreover, different automakers in the world are striving to come up with greater choice of models for the UK market. They include, high performance sports cars capable of covering greater miles and family cars, meant to carry more goods and people in run-arounds. According to Andrew Jones, the transport minister in the UK, “The government increased its support for EVs to over £600 million, for the next five years in order to cut carbon emissions in the UK, enabling its citizens to enjoy the benefits of green technology which is cheap to run.”
There are three types of plug in vehicles recognised in the UK. First, there is the Pure Battery Electric Cars that solely rely on a series of charged batteries and have a range of between 80 and 310 miles. Secondly, Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) which have a petrol or a diesel engine with a battery, which is charged via a plug. They offer flexibility on the type of fuel they use and have a range of over 400 miles. Finally, there is the original Hybrid Cars that comes with a bigger battery and combustion engine, this car doesn’t need to be plugged in and has a range of over 400 miles.
Growth in EVs in the UK is attributed to;
Government Support- The UK government has been at the forefront in pioneering the use of green technology on its roads. Notably, in 2014, the UK government partnered with BMW, Renault, Toyota, Nissan and Vauxhall GM Motors in a national campaign dubbed, Go Ultra Low, meant to sensitise its citizens on the benefits of using EVs, investing over £2.5 million in the campaign. Nicholas Clegg, ex deputy prime minister also announced the government’s commitment to invest an additional 9 million British pounds in the coming years in order to ensure the ultra-low emission EVs were in use by 2040.
Plug-in Car Grant- Since most EVs have undergone tests regarding safety, range and the ultra-low exhaust pipe emission, the government announced the Plug-in Car Grant. As of 2015, thanks to the plug-in car grant, approximately 21,000 EVs had been registered to be on UK roads, according to Society of Motor Manufactures and Traders. A car grant is 5,000 pounds, while that of the van is 8,000 pounds. Notably, in 2015, the government extended the grant to 2020, although this favours cars and vans under the Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicles system.
Improved Charging Infrastructure- EVs in the UK qualify for the London Congestion Charge, if they are registered by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. As of February, 2016, the government had partnered with EV auto makers and operators such as Tesla Motors, PodPoint and Ecotricity come up with over 10,000 charging points across UK. Each part of the UK, would have an operators to monitor the operation of this charging sports. In additional, most firms have partnered with these operators to have charging spots in their premises, for employees and members of the public. EV buyers also get to enjoy a subsidy of about 900 British pounds upon installation of a charger at their homes.
Top Sellers 2015
By the end of 2015, Nissan Leaf had sold over 11,000 EVs to the UK market hence the most popular EV in UK. In the previous year, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV had dominated the market as the bestselling plug in electric vehicle. Thirdly placed is BMW i3, boasting of over 3500 registrations, Renault Zoe is fourth with close to 3300 units on UK roads. Tesla Model S is fifth with over 2000 units, leap frogging Toyota Prius 1,500 sales in 2015.
But in future years, the government anticipates to increase the number of EVs in its roads by over 5%, thanks to the ultra-low emission system. Every motorist in the UK is looking to lower their running cost in the long run. This money-saving goal plays a role in the in the auto industry, in terms of increasing the popularity of the electric vehicles in the UK.