Vallance: It’s impossible for majority to buy electric car
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The average EV can now travel up to 260 miles on a single battery charge after a decade of innovation that has seen ranges treble and there are now 15 times as many electric vehicles for buyers to choose from.
Electric cars in the UK have an average battery range of 257 miles compared with 74 miles in 2011, according to industry trade body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Britain’s first mass-market electric car was the Nissan Leaf, produced at the firm’s plant in Sunderland.
That debuted in 2011 with a range of 73 miles, but today, Nissan’s equivalent model can travel for 226 miles on a single charge.
Meanwhile the new Mercedes EQS 450+ has a range of as much as 450 miles.
When the Leaf launched in 2011 there were fewer than 1,000 EV registrations in the UK.
But now there are more than 140 plug-in models on sale, with a further 50 expected to be launched before the end of 2022.
Between 2011 and 2021, the number of electric and hybrid chargeable cars sold leapt from 1,082 to more than 190,000.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The ever-increasing number of electric vehicle models launched by manufacturers since 2011 shows just how far Britain has come, with industry investment stimulating innovation at an ever-faster rate.
“With almost 200 electrified models expected to be available by the end of the year, manufacturers are turning ambitions for zero and ultra-low emission mobility into a reality, while motorists’ demand for these vehicles increases month by month.”
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But the SMMT is now worried that a lack of chargepoint availability “could stifle greater uptake, with 75 percent of motorists saying there are not enough public charge points to meet their needs”.
There are more than 30,000 public chargers available according to data from the Department for Transport, up by a third in a year.
But currently there are severe disparities depending on region.
For example, the North West has 5.9 rapid chargers per 100,000 people compared to 111 in London.
The Government wants to have 300,000 charge points available by the end of the decade.
That’s when the sale of all petrol and diesel engined cars will be banned in the UK.
Sales of hybrid cars will then be banned five years later in 2035.
One in five cars sold in Britain is now an electric car with sales up 80 percent on last year.
Mr Hawes added: “With almost 200 electrified models expected to be available by the end of the year, manufacturers are turning ambitions for zero and ultra-low emission mobility into a reality, while motorists’ demand for these vehicles increases month by month.
“The UK has an ambitious timescale to deliver net zero and road transport must shoulder the biggest burden delivering that goal.
“To turn this nascent demand into a mass market, however, motorists need choice, affordability and the confidence to charge.
“The industry is up for the challenge but we need all stakeholders, including government, charge point providers and energy companies, to match manufacturers’ commitment by providing the competitive incentives and infrastructure that assures a zero-emission future.”
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