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How Many Electric Cars Are There in the UK?

Written by, Bojana Atanasovska

Updated May, 5, 2022

With diesel and petrol cars sales banned from 2030, and with no new hybrid cars from 2035, there is significant momentum for purchasing cleaner vehicles in the UK. 

But, how many electric cars are there in the UK?

The EV database in the UK shows some interesting figures.

Read on!

Top Six Statistics On the Electric Car Market in the UK

  • There are more than 705,000 plug-in vehicles registered in the UK.
  • The number of EVs sold in the country increased by 186% in 2020.
  • There were 36,041 new EV registrations in December 2021.
  • EVs accounted for around 11.6% of all new cars sold in the UK in 2021.
  • There are a total of 19,707 EV charging locations in the UK.
  • There are 4,035 rapid charging points in the UK.

General Electric Vehicle Statistics

1. There are more than 705,000 plug-in vehicles registered in the UK.

(Mer)

As of November 2021, the number of electric cars in the UK is over 705,000, with 365,000 completely battery-powered vehicles (BEVs) and 340,000 plug-in hybrid models (PHEVs). That represents a 66% increase in electric vehicle purchases from 2019

The uptake of EV in the country coincides with rising energy prices in the UK as demand increases, while production goes down. 

2. The number of EVs sold in the country increased by 186% in 2020.

(HeyCar)

Another reason for the rising popularity of electric cars in the UK is that they cost less to get insured. As of 2020, EV owners pay less than the average cost of car insurance of £417.

More specifically, Nissan Leaf paid an average of £394 a year for insurance, while Ford Fiesta diesel and petrol models were charged £550.

3. The best-selling EV in 2021 was Tesla Model 3.

(Mer)

The Tesla Model 3 was the best-selling electric car in the UK as of December 2021, with 25,171 sales, more than double the second greatest seller, the Kia Niro. Its popularity stems from its high-tech features, speed, and fantastic range. Many consider the model historic because of its impact on the automobile industry as it is largely considered to be the first model to demonstrate the viability of electric vehicles.

4. There were 36,041 new EV registrations in December 2021.

(Next Green Car)

The number of electric car registrations in the UK continues to grow, with 36,041 new registrations recorded in December 2021. In 2015, only 1.1% of newly registered automobiles had a plugin. That number rose to 3.2% in 2019.

5. EVs accounted for around 11.6% of all new cars sold in the UK in 2021.

(HeyCar)

Despite their growing popularity, electric cars accounted for roughly 11.6% of all new vehicles sold in the UK in 2021, according to statistics on electric cars sales in the UK. What’s more, only 12.5% of the new car registration in January 2022 were EVs

Seeing as how petrol, at £950 a year, is one of the biggest expenses of running a car in the UK, the number of EV owners is sure to go up even more in the future. 

6. 17.5% of new car registrations in 2021 were BEVs or PHEVs.

(Mer)

The percentage of electric cars in the UK in 2021, both BEVs and PHEVs, was over 17% and roughly one out of every six new cars can be plugged in. Pure-electric cars make up approximately 10% of new cars sold.  

Electric Vehicle Charging Statistics

7. There are a total of 19,707 EV charging locations in the UK. 

(Zap-Map)

The number of public electric car charging stations in the UK has risen dramatically in recent years. The overall number of installed electric car charging points in the UK at the end of April 2022 was 31,507 across 19,707 locations. 

This represents an incredible increase of 35% in the number of charging devices compared to April of last year. 

It’s also worth mentioning that this figure only includes public EV charging points and not the ones installed at homes and workplaces, the number of which is over 400,000.

8. London has 87 public charging devices per 100,000 of population. 

(GOV.UK)

UK charging points stats show that London has the most charging devices in the UK, followed by Scotland with 49 devices per 100,000 of population. Northern Island has only 18 per 100,000 of population

9. Yorkshire and the Humber saw the greatest charging device quarterly increase in 2021. 

(GOV.UK)

Car figures show that between July and October in 2021, Yorkshire and the Humber saw the most significant quarterly increase at 14.8%, while Northern Ireland and the North East saw the lowest, at 0.6% and 3.3%, respectively.

10. There are 4,035 rapid charging points in the UK. 

(Zap-Map)

Recent numbers show that there is a significant increase in rapid charging stations in the UK. There are a little over 4,000 rapid charge points in the UK and 1,403 ultra-rapid charging stations, compared to 3,874 and 1,290 that were available in 2021, respectively. 

11. Polar operates 12.8% of the whole EV charging market in the UK.

(Zap-Map)

Polar, owned by BP Chargemaster, is the biggest UK public charging network, accounting for little under 13% of the total EV charging market. Ubiquity, which incorporates charge stations within lamp posts, accounts for 11.5% of the market, followed by Pod Point, with a 10.7% market share, Pod Point.

For more on the biggest EV charging companies in the UK, take a look at this guide. 

Interesting Electric Vehicles Facts

12. Rapid EV charging units can charge electric cars in less than an hour.

(NLT Electrical)

Rapid charging units can provide an 80% charge in around half an hour. It would take slow and fast units around 6-8 hours 3-4 hours, respectively, for a full charge.

13. Drivers of EV cars are less likely to get into accidents.

(The Times)

According to the most recent statistics, 26,000 people were seriously injured in car accidents in the UK. Although there is no specific data about the types of vehicles involved in these car crashes, new research suggests that drivers of EV are less likely to be involved in traffic accidents compared to those operating petrol cars. The study says that drivers of electric cars are more cautious, due to so-called “range-anxiety”, i.e. the fear that the car will run out of power. 

14. Prince Charles is the proud owner of an electric vehicle.

(EDF)

Prince Charles owns a Jaguar electric SUV. According to friends, the Prince has also placed a fast charger at his house in Clarence House to charge the vehicle.

15. Electric vehicles aren’t as quiet as they used to be.

(GOV.UK)

In July 2019, the EU introduced a new rule that requires all new electric or hybrid vehicles to generate a sound with a minimum frequency of 56 Decibels at speeds up to 12.4mph, so that bicyclists can hear an incoming electric car and avoid accidents.

Bottom Line

In the last several years, governments around the world have made extra efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change by pushing for more electric vehicles. The continual growth in how many electric cars are there in the UK shows that the future is becoming greener, at least from an automotive perspective.

Sources

Bojana is my name and writing is my game. I am a content writer from Bitola who is always interested in the latest research in almost all areas of life. I have a Bachelor’s degree in English literature and a perfectionist character, both of which help me find the most accurate data and information available. Although I have my head stuck in studies and reports most of the time, I still have a bit of free time during which I enjoy knitting and watching classic 90’s Disney movies.