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UK ‘has long way to go before reaching ultra low emission vehicle sales target’

Time 3 years ago

THE UK is still a long way away from the government’s target for sales of ultra low emission vehicles, according to latest figures.

In its Road To Zero strategy announced last month, the government confirmed that it wanted to see at least 50 per cent of new cars sold by 2030 to be ultra low emission models such as electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).

However, figures from industry analyst EV-Volumes show that the country is far from that target, with less than two per cent of new vehicles sold in 2018 so far fitting in the ultra low emission bracket.

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The news comes as the same figures showed that sales for EVs and PHEVs in Europe had soared by 42 per cent this year to more than one million units.

Tom Callow, director of communication and strategy at charging partner Chargemaster, remained upbeat though, saying: ‘The number of electric cars registered in the UK is up 31.5 per cent year-on-year compared to 2017, and while the overall European market has grown by 42 per cent, much of this growth has been driven by Germany, which has been catching up with the UK.

‘Despite Germany’s car market being over 30 per cent larger than Britain’s, there are now roughly the same number of plug-in cars on the road in both countries. While EVs accounted for 1.6 per cent of registrations in Germany in 2017, they accounted for 1.9 per cent in the UK last year and hit 2.8 per cent in July. The only other country ahead of the UK is Norway, which has unrivalled incentives for electric cars and a car market that cannot be compared to the UK.

‘It is a well-established fact that EV demand is outstripping supply in the UK, with car buyers facing waiting lists of several months for many plug-in models. Dealers certainly aren’t struggling to sell the new EVs they are allocated, and they are performing well in the used market, too, with Auto Trader revealing that the Renault Zoe was the fastest-selling used car in July.

‘We should hit around 60,000 new electric car registrations this year, but there is no doubt in my mind that if the UK had 100,000 or so plug-in cars to sell in 2018, then dealers would sell all of them.’


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Car Dealer has been covering the motor trade since 2008 as both a print and digital publication. In 2020 the title went fully digital and now provides daily motoring updates on this website for the car industry. A digital magazine is published once a month.

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