The UK’s electric vehicle industry has been ranked as the third best in the world according to a new Electric Car Index from OSV.
The vehicle supply firm has placed the UK in joint third – alongside Switzerland – behind France and Norway in first and second place respectively.
Looking at factors such as government support for EVs, the number of charge points installed, and EV market share, the OSV Electric Car Index has decided the UK’s efforts merit a shared podium position from the end of 2017.
The government’s two financial incentives – its vehicle grants and charge point grants – a plug-in market share of around 1.7%, and almost 3,000 new charge points installed in 2017 put the UK in a position as one of the world’s leading EV regions.
France’s top spot was largely won by installing more than a third more electric vehicle charging points in 2017 than any other country with such figures available. Just shy of 12,000 new points were installed in France last year, with only Germany’s almost 8,000 points anywhere near according to OSV’s research.
The investment in charging infrastructure in France, combined with a 1.5% market share, put the country ahead of long-term EV sales leaders Norway. The Scandinavian country continues to see significant EV ownership, with a market share well ahead of anywhere else in the world. Last year’s sales saw 34.7% of Norwegian car buyers pick a plug-in model, with the country’s government offering three incentives according to OSV.
Switzerland’s 2% market share, two incentives, and almost 3,000 new charge points in 2017 put it level with the UK, while Sweden and Belgium took joint sixth place, ahead of the USA in eighth, and Finland & Canada in joint ninth.
OSV joint company director, Debbie Kirkley said: “The UK has come in for some criticism in recent years, for the time that it has taken to create the infrastructure necessary to facilitate the switch to more environmentally-friendly vehicles, so it’s quite a pleasant surprise to find that we are now ranked joint third for electric vehicle preparedness and adoption. However, it should not lead to complacency.
“The fact that France – Paris, in particular – has struggled so terribly with air pollution in recent years may account for the French Government’s serious investment in electric charging points. But, while it may seem disproportionate, given the country’s current market share, it could be a canny business move of the ‘if you build it, they will come’ variety.
“People will only start buying – or renting – electric vehicles in significant numbers if they can be confident in their ability to charge them wherever they go. For the moment, the French are really powering ahead in that area.
“The 2040 petrol and diesel ban will come around faster than we imagine, so it’s great to see the future electric cars selection increasing to provide for the demand. From small electric cars to electric SUVs leading brands are providing for all.”