Electric vehicle index review for the UK!

Electric car- Kia EV6 interior

There is no denying that the world is shifting away from fossil fuels and toward a clean energy future with zero-emission vehicles and renewable sources of energy production. However, some places in the world seem to be making this shift much quicker than others. 

The consumption of fossil fuels is having a huge impact on our environment and the world we live in. However, the significance of that impact and how urgently we need to change our ways is not universally agreed upon.

You may notice that the UK has adopted some meaningful measures to become the world’s most prepared places for electric vehicle adoption. Whereas, countries such as the United States are lagging far behind. Part of this is due to the fact that fossil fuel companies in the United States have a lot of political and economic capital, and part of it is due to cultural differences. 

Additionally, electric vehicle use and adoption in the United States is encouraged at the state level instead of the federal level. This is how the United States could rank second in the world for the number of electric cars per capita but at the same time not make significant gains in the percentage of EV drivers on the road.

This explains why a state like California may have over 425,300 electric vehicles registered whereas a state like West Virginia may only have 600 in the entire state. Electric vehicle adoption is simply not a priority for many places in the US. 

But, we are not here to talk about the US. We’re here to address the fact that the UK ranks second in preparedness for electric vehicle adoption out of all 32 European countries in a recent study conducted by driving education company zutobi. That is an amazing statistic!

The UK’s EV readiness!

One of the biggest drivers to this ultra-preparedness is that the government has committed to having only new electric vehicles sold in the UK starting in 2030. This means that 2029 will be the last year that someone may be able to purchase a brand new petrol or diesel-fueled vehicle in the UK. Although this may seem like a lofty goal, the UK government is committed to meeting this goal and they have been taking steps to prepare its citizenry for a future where only zero-emission electric vehicles are available. 

Electric Vehicle- Volkswagen ID.4

So, what has the UK been doing to ease and encourage the transition from gas-powered vehicles to electric ones? Essentially, there has been a three-pronged approach taken in the UK to help encourage consumers to make the switch to electric before it is no longer a choice. The three-pronged approach includes providing purchase incentives for people to buy electric vehicles, building more charging ports to increase the number of public charging stations per KM, and decreasing the cost of fully charging an electric vehicle. 

Let us take a closer look at these three approaches in more detail. 

Purchase incentives for buying EVs!

The government of the UK has pledged over £540m to help boost the electric vehicle industry. They have planned to use this money to not only improve electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the UK but to give direct incentives to private vehicle owners through purchase grants.

The Plug-in Car Grant covers 35% of the cost of a new electric car up to £4,500 depending on the model, and 20% of the cost of a new electric van up to £8,000. In many instances, this purchase incentive the Plug-in Car Grant can reduce the total cost of an electric vehicle below the cost of a conventional gas-powered vehicle.

Additionally, the UK government is providing grants for homeowners to install charging ports at their homes and their places of work. The OLEV grant can cover up to 75% of the cost of installation. Lastly, if you own an electric vehicle in the UK that is priced under £40,000, you are likely exempt from the annual road tax. 

Electric Vehicle - Tesla

Increasing the number of charging stations

The UK has been building charging stations at a staggering rate since 2011. It was estimated that there were somewhere around 1,500 charging stations in the UK in 2011. As of 2011, that number has increased by more than 32-times to an astounding 48,000+  charging ports. This has increased the number of public charging stations per KM to 8.80.  

Lowering the cost of fully charging an EV

The main way the UK government is trying to keep charging costs lower for electric vehicle owners is by increasing the number of charging ports as well as ensuring that charging stations are being equally distributed throughout the entire region.

To monitor the rollout of new charging stations and ensure that the Northern regions of the UK are not being left behind the Southern regions, the government created the Office of Charging to monitor the market.

The newly created Office of Charging is not only responsible for overseeing the construction and distribution of new charging stations, but they are to monitor pricing as well. The office is monitoring prices to ensure that no one is artificially inflating prices to take advantage of EV owners in areas where EV use is lower. 

A snapshot of electric vehicle adoption preparedness in the UK

Although the UK is ranked second among all European countries for preparedness when it comes to adopting electric vehicles, they are far behind the number one most prepared country, Norway. That being said, what the UK is doing to help the transition from gas-powered vehicles to electric is noteworthy. Here is a snapshot of some figures that can help illustrate the progress the UK is making. 

The UK ranks 2nd out of 32 for most prepared for adopting electric vehicles

  • Purchase incentive: 35% up to £4,500
  • Number of registered EVs: 206,997
  • 3-year increase in the number of EVs:383%
  • Cost to fully charge a Tesla Model 3 (50 kWh): £9.86
  • EV searches per 100,000 people: 139.65
  • Percent of total vehicles that are electric: 0.59%
  • Number of public charging stations per KM: 8.80
  • EV ready score: 4.73 / 10

This guest blog was written by Marko B. If you would like to feature on our blog, please drop us an email at editorial@evisionevs.co.uk.

* All information correct as of 25/04/2022.