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Motorists buying record numbers of electric cars

Go Ultra Low: electric car

Motorists in the UK are buying more electric vehicles than ever, with latest figures confirming continual quarterly rises in plug-in car uptake.

Since records began in 2011, volumes of electric car registrations have risen steeply.

In the April-June period of this year, 38% more electric cars were registered compared to the same timeframe in 2015*, building on a 27.4% pick-up in the first quarter.

In addition to these quarterly gains, the first six months of this year pushed electric car registrations 31.8% ahead of the first half of 2015.

Plug-in registrations totalled 19,252 for the year-to-date, 4,640 units ahead of the same period last year.

UK electric car registrations - January 2011 - June 2016 cumulative

UK electric car registrations: January 2011 - June 2016 cumulative (Go Ultra Low)














The bumper start to 2016 pushes registration volumes close to 70,000 units since government introduced its plug-in car grant in January 2011.

Transport minister John Hayes said: “The low-emission sector supports over 18,000 UK jobs and is a key pillar in our ambition for a low carbon, high tech and high skills economy.

"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 £600m of government investment to help grow the UK market.”

Poppy Welch, head of Go Ultra Low, said: “The continued growth in uptake of electric cars speaks for itself as registration records continue to be broken by motorists encouraged by the benefits electric motoring can bring.

"As awareness grows and motorists see the wide variety of vehicles already on UK roads coupled with benefits such as running costs from as little as 2p per mile, more drivers than ever are becoming motivated to go green. Since the plug-in car grant was introduced in 2011 the variety of electric models has expanded significantly, notably so in the past two years, giving motorists more choice than ever before.”

March 2016 was the best-ever month for electric car uptake when, boosted by a registration-plate change, there were 7,440 registrations. June recorded the year’s second highest volume of 3,196 new cars registered, up 23% year-on-year. These strong numbers support the fact that the first six months of 2016 were the highest-volume half-year ever for electric car registrations.

Of the vehicles that have made up these continually-improving figures for the first half of the year, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has proved most popular with 5,738 of the plug-in SUV rolling on to UK roads. The Nissan Leaf remains the most popular pure-electric car with 2,336 first-half registrations in 2016.

Government support includes a grant of up to off £4,500 the cost of a new car; tax benefits that could be worth thousands over the life of the car such as the lowest rates of Vehicle Excise Duty and company car tax, as well as support for home and public charging infrastructure contributing to the ongoing rises in uptake.

Go Ultra Low helps motorists understand the benefits, cost savings and capabilities of the raft of electric vehicles on the market. The collaborative campaign is the first of its kind, bringing together a consortium of vehicle manufacturers, government and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. 

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