UK electric car adoption speeds up

UK electric car adoption speeds up

UK electric car adoption speeds up

The UK electric and ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) market saw a record high in activity in the first quarter of 2015, showing how both business and consumer drivers are warming up to greener options when it comes to getting from A to B.

Some 9,046 ULEVs were registered during the January to March period, according to figures published on June 11th by the Department for Transport (DfT).

UK electric car adoption speeds up

This represents a staggering 366 per cent increase from 1,789 in the first quarter of 2014, as well as demonstrating that electric and low-emission cars now account for over one per cent of all vehicle sales in the UK, which reached 872,000 over the three months.

The growth was primarily driven by the eligibility of a greater number of vehicles for government grants, the DfT said, which subsidise the cost of plug-in cars by up to 35 per cent, as well as 20 per cent for vans.

However, in a statement issued to coincide with the figures, transport minister Andrew Jones also spoke of the growing popularity of ULEVs among drivers looking to reduce the environmental impact of their journeys.

"I am delighted to see such a huge rise in the number of people buying ULEVs," he said. "The Go Ultra Low campaign is making low emission vehicles an increasingly popular choice and the government is investing £500 million over the next 5 years in making them more accessible to families and businesses across the country.

"It's a great example of Britain leading the way in developing sustainable transport options that are affordable for everyone."

In addition to offering grants of up to £5,000 to purchase an electric or low-emission car or van, the government also exempts these options from Vehicle Excise Duty.

This compelled some 14,500 motorists to purchase ULEVs in the UK across 2014 as a whole, which represents a fourfold increase on 2013, environmental news website Edie.net reports. Based on the first quarter figures, 2015 may well see the market accelerate even more dramatically.

Some of the most significant early adopters to date have been in the business space, with UK firms of all sizes and sectors increasingly switching to all-electric fleets.

These organisations gain a wide range of benefits, including lower taxes, reduced refuelling costs, capital allowance concessions and exemption from the London congestion charge - as well as stronger environmental credentials than their competitors.

Commenting on ULEV registration figures from the third quarter of 2014, in which more than 5,000 electric and low-emission cars were introduced to UK roads, then-transport minister Baroness Kramer said: "It is not surprising that people want these vehicles - they are a pleasure to drive and incredibly cheap to run, as well as beneficial to the environment."


Posted by William Rodriguez

Image courtesy of ThinkStock