Electric cars reach record high

The uptake of plug-in cars has reached a record high in the UK with more than 115 electric cars registered every day during the first quarter of 2016.

In total, 10,496 plug-in cars hit UK roads during the first three months of the year with one plug-in car sold every 13 minutes, representing the best period of electric car sales since the Plug-in Car Grant was introduced in January 2011.

Analysis by Go Ultra Low and latest registration figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show plug-in car sales this year are ahead of schedule to exceed 2015’s record total – when more plug-in cars were registered than the previous five years combined. In addition, this first quarter success represents a 23% improvement on the same point last year, when a huge 386% year-on-year rise in registrations was recorded.

Transport minister Andrew Jones, said, ‘These record figures show that hundreds of people every week are coming round to the fact that plug-in cars are cleaner, greener and cheaper to run. The UK is a world leader in the uptake of low emission vehicles and our long-term economic plan is investing £600 million by 2020 to improve air quality, create jobs and achieve our goal of every new car and van in the UK being ultra-low emission by 2040.’

In addition to surging quarterly growth, March also delivered the strongest-ever monthly sales figures, with 7,144 new electric cars hitting UK roads. The monthly total exceeds the previous high of 6,104, recorded exactly a year ago in March 2015.

Poppy Welch, head of Go Ultra Low, said, ‘This continued and steep growth in uptake of plug-in cars is testament to how electric vehicles are becoming a natural choice for increasing numbers of new car buyers. With low running costs, tax exemptions and free parking in many locations, many more motorists should be considering a plug-in vehicle as their next car. As registrations records continue to be set and the rate of EV growth carries on, it’s no longer a question of will more motorists choose electric, but when.’