Birmingham has seen the fastest growth in new electric car ownership of any town or city in the UK.
According to DVLA data obtained by comparison site Motorway.co.uk, there were 2,192new electric cars registered in Birmingham up to the end of September 2019, compared to 340 in the corresponding period in 2018 – an increase of 527%. Growth in electric car sales in Birmingham between 2018 and 2019 was five times the UK average.
|Only Doncaster, in South Yorkshire, has seen growth in electric car ownership anywhere near the levels recorded in Birmingham, over a similar time period, with almost 500% more plug-in electric cars registered in 2019 vs 2018.
The top 20 towns and cities, including Birmingham and Doncaster, have seen growth in new electric car registrations of at least 233%over the past year, which is twice the UK average of 118%.
Bridgend sales of evs went up 280% over 12 months from 10 to 38 new cars while Swansea jumped from 33 to 115, a 248.5% increase. Last summer, Swansea hosted the UK’s first rally for pure electric cars (see image).
Not surprisingly, London saw more new electric cars on the road of any UK town and city last year, with 3,308 DVLA registrations up to the end of September 2019 – an increase of 95% compared to the corresponding period in 2018. It is likely the introduction of the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) in April persuaded more people this was a good time to switch to electric.
Electric car registrations across Scotland, Wales and England, were up 126%, 126% and 117% respectively in 2019 vs 2018. There were more than 22,000 new electric cars registered by the DVLA in England (22,469) alone, in the first nine months of 2019.
The benefits of going green sooner rather than later didn’t resonate in all regions though, with Bedford seeing a 78% drop in new EV registrations in 2019 vs 2018. Electric vehicle registrations in Stratford-upon-Avon fell almost fifty percent in 2019.
Alex Buttle, director of car selling comparison websiteMotorway.co.uk said,“The government is under huge pressure to encourage switching to electric cars and these figures do suggest that car buying habits are changing, although not equally across the UK.
“Many car owners have expressed a reluctance to switch to electric until they are confident that there is a charging infrastructure in place that will be able to cope with demand.
“Although the green argument is a powerful one, and many of us would happily drive less polluting cars, too many people who rely on their vehicles every day are concerned about the number of available public and private electric charging points.
“When we polled UK drivers recently about switching to electric, an inadequate charging infrastructure was the most common reason cited by respondents as to why they wouldn’t consider switching to an electric car over the next five years.
“Now that Brexit has been resolved, and we’re expecting to leave the EU on 31st January, this should hopefully inject some much needed confidence into the new car market.
“Many consumers have been holding off buying big ticket items while the country has been in Brexit limbo. That bottleneck has been cleared and the industry will be hoping for a decent New Year-boost in sales.
“The challenge for the government over the next 12 months is not just to support a car industry that has been through tough times since 2016, but also to find a way to encourage and incentivise more car owners to buy new electric and hybrid cars now, to ensure momentum is not lost on its ambitious ‘Road to Zero’ strategy.”
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