The UK has now seen the millionth pure battery electric new car registered, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). They said this happened in January. By the end of last year, there were about 674,000 electric cars being used in the UK. The SMMT thinks that more than one in five new cars sold this year will be electric.
The Government says that at least 22% of all new cars sold by each car maker in the UK this year must be zero emission, like electric cars. This number will go up every year until it’s 100% by 2035.
The SMMT wants the Treasury to cut VAT on new electric cars by half for a while. This would help more people choose these cars over ones that use petrol or diesel.
Mike Hawes, who is the boss of the SMMT, said: “It’s taken just over 20 years to reach our million EV milestone but with the right policies, we can double down on that success in just another two.” He also said: “Market growth is currently dependent on businesses and fleets.” He believes the Government should use the next Budget to help people buy electric cars by cutting VAT. This would help the environment, the economy, and make it easier for everyone to switch to electric cars.
He finished by saying: “Manufacturers have been asked to supply the vehicles. We now ask Government to help consumers buy the vehicles on which net zero depends.”
Ian Plummer, commercial director at Auto Trader, said: “Britain’s millionth new electric vehicle sale is a real milestone moment for the market.”
“Considering the pressure on car manufacturers to meet a 22% electric vehicle sales target under the ZEV (zero-emission vehicles) mandate this year, it’s a good time to be an electric vehicle buyer with some manufacturers offering EV discounts as high as 40%.”
“Electric vehicles may account for one in five sales this year, but there is still more ministers can do.”
“Equalising the VAT on private and public charging points would boost running-cost savings and encourage more people to make the switch to electric.”
SMMT figures show that last month, 142,876 new cars were registered, which is an 8.2% rise from January 2023.
The Government has just announced that schools in England can now ask for money to help pay for electric vehicle chargers.
Schools that get government funding and other places where people learn can get a grant that covers up to 75% of the cost to put in chargers, with up to £2,500 available for each plug.
These chargers will be for school staff and visitors to use, but the Department for Transport says schools might also make money by letting the public use these chargers.