The United Kingdom is among Europe's largest markets for electric vehicles in 2020. Plug-in electric vehicle sales climbed by around 140 percent year-on-year, while hybrid electric vehicles recorded gains of about 12 percent. Hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles accounted for over 10 percent of car registrations in the United Kingdom in 2020, and demand for electrified vehicles among new car intenders in the United Kingdom stands at roughly 40 percent.
Supply and demand factors
As demand for alternative powertrains is picking up steam, motorists will be happy to hear that many battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are eligible for government grants. As a result, the number of grant eligible plug-in cars registered in the UK came close to 270,000 units in the fourth quarter of 2020. There is also a wide range of electric car models currently available to UK customers. Based on fleet size, Mitsubishi's Outlander plug-in hybrid electric vehicle is the most popular electric car in the United Kingdom with about 52,000 vehicles in operation as of 2020. What is even more impressive is that based on monthly sales, Tesla's Model 3 emerged as the best-selling car in December 2020. Furthermore, there were almost 33,500 electric vehicle chargers available in the country in 2020. However, it has to be noted that only some 6,000 of these were classified as fast chargers, suggesting that more infrastructure improvements are necessary to keep up with increasing electric vehicle demand.
A trend that goes beyond cars
Figures for electric vehicles other than cars echoed this development. Sales of ultra-low emission buses and coaches and ultra-low emission motorcycles in the United Kingdom are also demonstrating an upward trend. A shift away from conventional powertrains is widely regarded as necessary to reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the transportation sector. As a result, policymakers have agreed to ban the sale of new diesel and petrol cars by 2030.
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