News story

Electric surge as record numbers of drivers switch to plug-in cars

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Over a quarter of the UK’s plug-in cars sold in last 3 months.

Plug-in car.

Sales of electric cars and other plug-in vehicles continue to rapidly increase, with a record number of people taking advantage of government grants.

The Plug-in Car Grant reduces the price of ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) by up to £5,000 for cars and £8,000 for vans, making them more affordable for the public and businesses.

Between July and September 2014, over 5,000 grants were provided, 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.

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said:

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.

All new vehicles 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. Driving costs are as low as 2p per mile.

The plug-in car grant is one of a range of Department for Transport measures in place to encourage uptake with a further £500 million to be invested by government in the industry between 2015 and 2020.

The Go Ultra Low campaign website, which is supported by government and industry, provides advice and information on ULEVs, including a guide that matches those using the site with the vehicle that most closely matches their needs.

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Published 20 October 2014