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Gloucestershire Business News

Over 200,000 electric vehicles to hit UK roads in 2021

At least 200,000 new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) will be registered in the UK in 2021, according to figures from electric vehicle leasing company, DriveElectric.

This figure is based on DriveElectric's own forecasts, and represents a significant increase from the 108,205 battery electric vehicles registered in the UK in 2020. The figure does not include plug-in hybrids (PHEVs).

It is a view shared by Cleevely Electric Vehicles in Cheltenham.

David Smith of Cleevely said: "We sell new and used electric vehicles, as well as maintain them and we've definitely seen an increase through our doors to both the workshop and showroom.

"A lot more manufacturers are bringing electric vehicles to market, which is creating more interest. It's not just high end, like Teslas any more. You can get a secondhand electric vehicle for as little as £5,000 or 6,000.

"The four of us who run Cleevely Electric Vehicles all drive electric vehicles ourselves, and we truly believe this is the way forward and it will continue to grow."

The growth in electric vehicle numbers is down to a number of factors, including:

  • The UK government's recent announcement that sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans will end by 2030 (and sales of plug-in hybrids will end by 2035)
  • Financial incentives for battery electric vehicles will remain, including a rate of just one per cent Benefit in Kind (BIK) company car tax from April 2021 for 12 months
  • Volkswagen Group and Mercedes-Benz will bring more EVs to market in 2021
  • Hyundai and Kia will continue to sell large numbers of EVs
  • Tesla will continue to sell large volumes of EVs due to the brand's popularity and could equal BMW and Mercedes as a 100,000 sales per year luxury brand very quickly in the UK
  • Growing environmental awareness about climate change and local air quality
  • Increasing numbers of proposed initiatives such as Clean Air Zones are resulting in organisations looking to renew their fleets with electric rather than petrol or diesel vehicles

Looking further ahead, DriveElectric predicts particularly high numbers of EV sales from 2025 onwards (around 50 per cent of registrations). Registrations of petrol and diesel vehicles will decline naturally ahead of the 2030 ban, as people will stop buying them due to poor residual values, and as EV prices become competitive.

Mike Potter, managing director of DriveElectric, said: "It is interesting to see that battery electric vehicle registrations in 2020 exceeded our forecast despite the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2021 there will be even more EV models on sale, so motorists looking to save money on running costs and to banish tailpipe emissions will have even more choice."

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