The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) has announced that over a quarter of the UK’s plug-in cars have been sold in the last 3 months.
Between July and September 2014, over 5,000 government plug-in car and van grants were provided, which is more than double the number than in the previous 3 months and almost a third of all grants since the scheme was launched in 2010.
There are now over 17,000 grant funded ULEVs on the UK’s roads. This is proof that with the help of government incentives and electric vehicle (EV) technology being advanced by manufacturers, the market is experiencing an accelerated growth.
Transport Minister Baroness Kramer commented: “It is not surprising that people want these vehicles – they are a pleasure to drive and incredibly cheap to run, as well as beneficial to the environment. The government is breaking down barriers that may have put people off in the past.”
“This growing confidence helps the UK strengthen its position as a global leader in developing green technology. Expanding this sector is also creating thousands of jobs and contributing to Britain’s thriving £11 billion automotive industry, and encouraging more investment in the UK – a key part of this government’s long-term economic plan.”
OLEV is confident that all new vehicles in the UK will have some kind of ULEV element by 2040. There has been a steady rise in the number of people taking up low emission vehicles, as more models become available and the nationwide network of charging points continues to expand.
The UK is seeing a huge roll-out of charging points, headed up by local councils across the country. The charging point statistics speak for themselves; there is now around 7,300 charging points and over 650 rapid charging points UK-wide with these numbers increasing all the time.
With £500 million in funding to be invested between 2015-2020, the government has pledged a commitment to encouraging the uptake of ULEV’s, particularly electric vehicles.
On the whole though, government incentives such as the £5000 plug-in car grant and £8000 plug-in van grant have been hugely successful and are providing a platform for growth within the emerging EV market.
There has, however, been complaints from the EV community that the money is not always been spent in the best way, with slow public charging stations still being installed in often non-strategic positions. There seems to be a general consensus that rapid charging points are what is needed with slow charging reserved for overnight charging at home or at hotels.
Publicly available slow charging stations are in demand but only in residential areas where EV drivers or those considering the switch to a plug-in vehicle do not have access to off-street parking.