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Electric Surge: Sales of Electric Cars at Record High

May 8, 2014

Back in January 2011, the government announced its ‘plug-in car grant’, allowing drivers buying eligible electric cars to get 25% off the list price – up to a maximum of £5000. Although initial response was slow, sales of EVs (electric vehicles) are on the increase as more people reap the benefits of going electric.

Figures released in April from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show that there are almost 10,000 EVs currently driving on the UK’s roads today. A record 1,200 EVs were sold in March this year, compared to just 270 in the same month in 2013. The promising figures are welcome news to the car industry, which is investing considerable time and money in a sustainable, electric future. The rapid growth in sales may be an indicator that public opinion is beginning to shift in favour of EVs, and that electricity may soon be considered as mainstream as petrol or diesel power for cars.

Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, launched a £500 million scheme to benefit sales of EVs earlier this month. Clegg has stated that the purpose of the investment is to “make driving an electric car affordable, convenient and free from anxiety about the battery running out”. He also highlighted that he wants to create a “culture change in our towns and cities so that driving a greener vehicle is a no-brainer for most drivers”.

A big focus of the scheme is to increase the number of EV charging points on main roads by 2020. Claims have been made that these charging points will be capable of recharging an electric car in as little as 20 minutes, easing the so-called “range anxiety” experienced by EV owners. The BMW i3 is one of the many cars eligible for the grant – and the investment was supported by managing director of BMW, stating that “the development of rapid-charging infrastructure, together with the continuation of the Plug-in Car Grant, is particularly important in giving potential electric vehicle owners the additional confidence some of them might need to make the switch”.

The extra investment will also go towards extending the plug-in car grant until 2017 – and this is sure to drive sales, as more manufacturers release EV versions of their cars. The promising growth in sales indicated by SMMT statistics does not include commercial vehicles or public transport. Out of the total £5000 scheme, £50 million is due to go towards introducing electric and hybrid taxis and buses in urban areas.

If you’re looking to join the green revolution and get your hands on an EV car, we recommend checking the eligibility guidelines in accordance with the government grant beforehand. Need a bit of extra help? No problem. The Car Loan Warehouse are specialists in car financing and work directly with dealers and lenders to find you the best finance deal, regardless of your credit score. Try our quick and easy car finance calculator to see how much you could save.

The Nissan Leaf is one of the vehicles eligible for the grant and is available from £26,000. Head over to Carpages.co.uk to read a full review of the Leaf.

About The Author

Jon Le Roux is co-founder and company director of The Car Loan Warehouse. Being a mad engineering and motorsport enthusiast, I spend more hours than is healthy, watching, reading or talking about cars, boats, motorbikes…..basically anything with an engine.