A record acceleration of electric car sales in the UK could be limited to London and the south east of England without a significant increase in load on street across the country, the auto industry trade group warned.
More electric cars were registered in 2021 than in the entire previous five years, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, while one in four new cars sold in the UK in December were battery-powered vehicles.
But while 20 per cent of electric car sales were in London and the south-east, Wales and northern England accounted for less than 10 per cent.
Mike Hawes, SMMT’s CEO, said the provision of street charging is “much slower” than the growth of electric car sales, which nearly doubled from 108,000 in 2020 to 191,000 last year, accounting for 11.6 percent of all sales over the year.
While “early adopters” in the southeast were typically richer with driveways, many people have to load their cars on the street. “There is concern that infrastructure is one of the biggest obstacles for people considering this type of purchase,” Hawes said. “We need the entire British motoring population to make this shift. We do not want it to become a north-south issue. “
He added that the large regional differences in the availability of street loaders in the ‘medium term’ need to be addressed. If not, it could deter buyers and hamper British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “leveling” agenda.
London has far more public charging points per person than anywhere else in the UK. According to the latest government figures as of October, there are 87 charging points per 100,000 people in the capital, almost double the next nearest region in England.
Northern Ireland has the lowest concentration at 18 per 100,000, followed by north-west England at 23 and Yorkshire and the Humber at 24.
The UK government wants to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, although some hybrids may be allowed until 2035. But ministers’ decisions to reduce the consumer plug-in allowance to £ 1,500 and reduce allowances for the installation of home chargers send a “confusing message” to motorists, Hawes warned.
“It’s a massive ambition to get the whole market, and if you’re going to achieve that, you have to use every leverage at your disposal,” he said.
The government said it wanted “as many people across the country to have the opportunity to switch to electric vehicles”, adding that the grants were focused on “more affordable vehicles” to “increase taxpayers’ money” . ” It said it had provided £ 1.3bn to support the deployment of charging points across the UK.
Overall, the UK’s new car market experienced its second worst year since 1992, with a 1 percent increase in sales compared to the record lows of 2020, as coronavirus restrictions exacerbated supply chain problems.
New car registrations in 2021 reached 1.65 million, compared to 1.63 million the previous year and down from 2.3 million in 2019, held back by the industry’s continuing shortage of key components such as semiconductors.
While the SMMT expects sales to rise to 1.96 million this year, it has warned that it could downgrade forecasts if the Omicron variant causes further international supply disruptions for carmakers.