Electrification – what’s happening in the UK?

Steph Allen, Account Manager at FMC Global Talent.
Steph Allen, Account Manager at FMC Auto Innovation

The electrification revolution is everywhere. Countries and companies around the world are making investments and commitments to reducing emissions and getting more electric cars on the road. We’ve discussed this before, but this time we’re taking it a little closer to home… here’s a run down of the electrification landscape in the UK.

What is the UK government trying to achieve?

The UK is aiming to phase out the sales of traditional combustion in the next 20 or so years, with 2040 being the end goal. Shorter-term, they also want to have electric vehicles account for 60% of new car and van sales by 2030.

Ambitious? Perhaps so. But they are providing incentives to get people on board. The UK Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG) offers buyers a discount on low and zero emissions vehicles with the aim of encouraging more and more people to make the switch to electric. Vehicles that have CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km and can travel at least 112km (70 miles) with zero emissions are eligible for a grant of up to 35% of the cost price, up to £3500. Buyers can get any EV from a Nissan to a Tesla on the grant, so there’s something for everyone.

Speaking of car brands… who are the major electric vehicle companies in the UK?

As making the switch to electric becomes increasingly popular, there are plenty of options available on the UK market. Most road-car OEMs are wanting a slice of the action and the result is a wide variety of brands and models being available in electric. According to Auto Express the best electric car on the market out there is the Tesla Model 3, but models like the Nissan Leaf and the Audi e-Tron also make the top 10.

Currently, the award of most popular ultra-low emissions vehicle in the UK goes to the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV  which has sold upwards of 40,000 units. If we’re talking about pure electric, this accolade goes the Nissan Leaf which has sold over 25,000 units.

Whilst a lot of these cars are imported, the all-electric Mini Cooper SE will start production in Oxford later this year – only right for such a classic British car!

How many electric vehicles are currently on UK roads?

There are currently around 225,000 plug-in cars in the UK as of July 2019. This figure has increased year on year, with the number of units sold rising dramatically over the past few years. An average of 5000 per month were registered last year, and there was a 158% increase on battery electric car sales this July compared to last year. It’s a move in the right direction!

How is the UK investing in the electric revolution?

As well as the PiCG, the government are making investments in charging technologies. After all, it’s all well and good having an electric or hybrid car… unless you can’t charge it.

The UK now has more electric charge-points than petrol stations – 9,300 of the former and 8,400 of the latter. The UK government has also earmarked an additional £2.5 million for EV charge-points on residential streets with the aim of local authorities installing over 1000 new charging locations. This has been done in a bid to make electric vehicle ownership even easier. Good news for those who’ve already gone electric!

Want to find out more?

If you’re interested in more insight on electrification, download our latest insight report: Electrification & the Skills Impact | Part 1: Motorsport