The UK is accelerating further towards a greener transport future, as newly released statistics reveal that over half-a-million ultra low emission vehicles are now being driven on roads across the country.
This comes as statistics from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that 13.6% of new cars sold in the past four months had a plug, with ultra low emission cars accounting for more than one in 10 sales last year, up from one in 30 the year before.
The UK is at the forefront of the electric vehicle ‘revolution’, with the government committing to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, as well as ensuring all new cars and vans will be zero emissions at the tailpipe by 2035.
Commenting, Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps said: “As hosts of COP26, we want to drive decarbonisation on the global stage, which is why we’re going further and faster to make the journeys of our future as clean as possible.
“With news that the half a million milestone has now been met, together with the UK now having the second largest EV [electric vehicle] market in Europe, it’s clear that the shift to green motoring is accelerating at speed.”
The government has pledged a £2.8bn package of measures to support industry and drivers to make the switch to cleaner vehicles and said this will help the UK meet its climate change obligations, improve air quality in towns and cities and support economic growth, with vehicles built in the UK.
A significant number of EV models have seen price reductions in recent months, making them more accessible and affordable for motorists around the country, as more and more people make the switch to ultra low emission vehicles.
More affordable batteries also mean that manufacturers have been able to increase the range of these vehicles, with many EVs now able to drive over 200 or 300 miles on a charge, ensuring that motorists can use them for longer journeys.
A driver is never more than 25 miles away from a rapid charge point anywhere along England’s motorways and major A roads.
The UK already has a network of over 23,000 public charge points, with more fast charge points per 100 miles of key strategic roads than any other European country.
The government has committed to provide £1.3bn over the next four years from the wider supportive package to encourage the continued rollout of charge points on motorways and major A roads, in homes and businesses, as well as on-street.
Commenting, SMMT Chief Executive, Mike Hawes said: “The automotive sector is transforming the way we drive, investing billions in ever greener and cleaner vehicles across the range, with one in four available models now capable of being ‘plugged in’.
“Over half a million people are already convinced by the incredible driving experience and we hope millions more will make the switch as Britain strives to become the best place to build, buy and drive electric vehicles.”