Motorists in the UK are buying more electric vehicles than ever - with latest figures confirming continual quarterly rises in plug-in car uptake.
That's according to Go Ultra Low, campaigners for the consideration of electric vehicles, who revealed in the April-June period of this year, 38% more electric cars were registered compared to the same time in 2015, building on a 27.4% pick-up in the first quarter.
In addition to these quarterly gains, the first six months of this year pushed electric car registrations 31.8% ahead of the first half of 2015. Plug-in registrations totalled 19,252 for the year-to-date, 4,640 units ahead of the same period last year.
The bumper start to 2016 pushes registration volumes close to 70,000 units since government introduced its Plug-in Car Grant in January 2011.
Meanwhile, Nissan has claimed there will be more public locations to charge electric cars in the UK than there are petrol stations by the summer of 2020 - according to their own analysis.
At the end of 2015, there were just 8,472 fuel stations in the UK, down from 37,539 in 1970. Assuming a steady rate of decline, Nissan predicts that by August 2020 this will fall to under 7,870.
In contrast, the number of public electric vehicle charging locations is expected to reach 7,900 by the same point in time. However, the accelerating adoption of electric vehicles means this crossover could happen a lot sooner.
Transport Minister John Hayes said: “I am delighted to see record numbers of motorists coming round to the benefits of cleaner, greener vehicles, which are also cheaper to run. The low-emission sector supports over 18,000 UK jobs and is a key pillar in our ambition for a low carbon, high tech and high skills economy. We want to make the UK a world leader in electric vehicle uptake and manufacture, to ensure that by 2050 every car and van on our roads is a zero emission vehicle. We are backing this with one of the most comprehensive support packages in the world, with more than £600m of government investment to help grow the UK market.”
March 2016 was the best-ever month for electric car uptake when, boosted by a registration-plate change, there were 7,440 registrations. June recorded the year’s second highest volume of 3,196 new cars registered, up 23% year-on-year. These strong numbers support the fact that the first six months of 2016 were the highest-volume half-year ever for electric car registrations.
Of the vehicles that have made up these continually-improving figures for the first half of the year, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has proved most popular with 5,738 of the plug-in SUV rolling on to UK roads. The Nissan LEAF remains the most popular pure-electric car with 2,336 first-half registrations in 2016.