Adoption of ultra-low emissions (ULEV) and electric vehicles accelerated dramatically in the UK in the year ended 31 March 2017, sending registrations above the 100,000 mark for the first time.
Official statistics released by the Department for Transport show that as of March 2017 there were a total of 108,641 ULEVs registered in the UK, a figure which has nearly doubled since 2015.
In the year ended March 2017 a total of 43,819 ULEVs were registered, significantly driving registered vehicle numbers up. That figure is representative of a 34% increase year-on-year and more than 90% up on registrations two years ago.
And there are now indications that 2017 could be a more productive year with 13,800 new ULEVs having been registered in Q1, up 17% year-on-year.
Government-led plug-in car grants of up to £4,500 have been pointed to as a reason for the increase and plug-in vehicles make up a significant portion of registered ULEVs in the UK. More than 92,000 plug-in cars have been registered in the UK, with a further 3,300 plug-in vans.
Transport secretary Chris Grayling said he was delighted to see ULEV adoption effectively double since 2015.
“Electric vehicles are cheaper to run, we are offering car drivers grants worth up to £4,500 off the price of new low emission cars and more chargepoints are being rolled out across the country.
“I am determined to improve Britain’s air quality which is why we have pledged £600million to support the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles,” he added.
While Grayling is correct that £600 million in total has been pledged, Clean Energy News analysis of that funding – coupled with the Conservative Party’s confirmation that this was not new finance and merely what was announced at the 2015 general election – revealed that this has mostly already been allocated.
Nevertheless, EV adoption has become so prevalent that figures within the industry now regard grid constraints to be the last remaining barrier for the industry to circumvent.