The number of electric cars registered in the UK between January and June this year showed an increase of 31.8% on the same period last year. 19,252 new electric cars were registered in the first half of 2016, the highest half-year volume ever, in comparison to 14,612 registrations in the same period in 2015.
The uptake of electric vehicles has been rising progressively, with the April to June period this year marking the 22nd quarterly rise in a row. In comparison to the uptake in the same period last year, this marks a 38% rise in new registrations.
Awareness of the benefits of electric cars is on the increase in the UK, with people becoming more environmentally conscious and keen to take action to combat climate change. In addition, the rising costs of petrol and diesel are making electric cars seem like a much more attractive option, with running costs of electric models starting from as little as two pence per mile.
The Plug-In Car Grant is also thought to have had a positive impact on the uptake of electric cars in the UK. The scheme, which was introduced by the Government in January 2011, offers subsidies for those purchasing electric cars and vans, as they tend to be significantly more expensive than petrol or diesel vehicles. Since the introduction of the scheme, there have been almost 70,000 more registrations of electric vehicles in the UK.
Transport Minister John Hayes explained that, “We want to make the UK a world leader in electric vehicle uptake and manufacture, to ensure that by 2050 every car and van on our roads is a zero emission vehicle. We are backing this with one of the most comprehensive support packages in the world, with more than £600 million of Government investment to help grow the UK market.”
This is likely to be good news for the UK job market, as the low-emission sector currently provides over 18,000 jobs in the UK.
March 2016 saw the highest ever amount of electric cars registered in one month in the UK, with 7,440 new registrations. The most popular pure electric vehicle is currently the Nissan Leaf, with 2,336 registered in the first half of 2016. The most popular hybrid so far this year is the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, with 5,738 new registrations.