UK electric car registrations continue to set records, as latest figures place the total number of new 100% electric and plug-in hybrid cars registered last year at 72,834, making 2019 the most successful year for electric cars to date. That equates to one new electric car registration every seven minutes in the UK. The total also means the market grew by 21% compared to 2018.
The end-of-year figure marks a continued trend, which saw consumers and businesses switch to ultra-low emission vehicles. The fourth quarter of the year saw a further 24,722 plug-in cars registered between October and December in 2019. For the first time, fully electric cars accounted for more than half of the plug-in market, with 52% of sales. This takes the number of 100% electric and plug-in hybrid cars registered in the UK to date to 271,524.
From a regional perspective, the South East saw the highest demand across the nation, with 26,136 vehicles registered – a 22% increase on 2018. Other leading regions include the West Midlands (11,623), South West (8,128), Yorkshire and the Humber (7,566) and East Anglia (5,373), making up the top five British regions for electric car uptake this year. 2019 has been the eighth consecutive year of growth for the electric car market. This, has in part, been driven by an increase in the models available, with over 50 for consumers and businesses to choose from.
2020 has the potential to be another strong year for registrations as a host of models are set to be introduced, including the Peugeot e-208, Volkswagen ID.3, Mercedes-Benz EQC, Vauxhall Corsa-e, Skoda CITIGO E, and MINI Electric just some of the new cars due to hit the roads.
Poppy Welch, Head of Go Ultra Low, said: “In the context of the wider new car market, it is encouraging to see plug-in car registrations continue to go from strength-to-strength. Looking at the year ahead, 2020 is set to be another fantastic year for electric car uptake. With even more new models being released, ongoing government support, as well as the continued expansion of the public charging infrastructure, we’re confident that the next 12 months will be a landmark year for the nation’s switch to electric.”
Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary, said: “These record figures show the Government’s world-leading £1.5 billion ($1.95 billion) programme encouraging people to switch to clean transport and improve air quality is working. I want 2020 to be the year electric cars go mainstream. That’s why we are doubling-down our efforts to make owning an electric vehicle the new normal.”
Andrea Leadsom, Business and Energy Secretary, said: “With transport accounting for more than a quarter of the UK’s carbon emissions, making the switch to electric vehicles will not only clean up the air in our cities and town centres but will also help in our ambition to tackle global climate change. With a doubling in the number of fully electric cars being registered compared to the previous year, in 2019 more people than ever turned to electric vehicles.”
The continued growth of the EV market has also been accompanied by new charge points being installed in response to the increased demand. There are now over 29,000 public charging connectors in the UK, making it one of Europe’s largest charging networks. These numbers are set to rise due to continued Government funding and investment from the private sector. In September, the Government committed £35 million ($45.5 million) worth of investment into the UK’s rapid charge network, which combined with £35 million ($45.5 million) from the private sector will result in the delivery of a further 3,000 rapid chargers by 2024.
Go Ultra Low is a collaborative campaign and is the first of its kind, bringing together the government, motor industry, and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).