Pure electric car ownership up 50% in a year

Electric car ownership has risen by more than 50 percent in the 12 months to September 2020, new research by the RAC has found.

Private ownership of pure electric or battery electric cars (BEV) rose by nearly 30,000. Total ownership is up to just over 172,000 with just half being held privately. This represents only 0.5% of 32 million registered UK vehicles. With the Government banning selling new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, (hybrid by 2035), there is clearly still a long way to go.

Switching to electric has been put off by many drivers as they are considered too expensive and more difficult to fuel in public.

Regional Variances

There are big regional differences with 36% of all BEVs owned in London and the South East.

The data showed that 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.

The lowest take-up of electric cars was found in South Wales, with Merthyr Tydfil registering 21 vehicles and Blaenau Gwent 27 vehicles.

The RAC stated that only one in nine fossil fuel vehicles are commercially owned, with an approximate ratio of 50-50 for electric private and companies cars.

The organisation urged the Government to scrap 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.”

Last month, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps launched a consultation on plans to improve electric car take up. They aim to make charging in public as easy as buying petrol. The scheme also includes proposals to make it easier for drivers to compare charger prices online. Users will also look up which relevant chargers are available and where.

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