Go Ultra Low has released strong sales figures for the first half of 2016
Sales of electric cars continue to break records with the announcement by Go Ultra Low that more plug-in vehicles have been sold in the first half of 2016 than at any other half-way point. Electric car registrations are up almost a third compared to January - June last year at 31.8 per cent.
In 2015, it took another three months to reach this year's 19,252 registrations, 4,640 units ahead of the same point in 2015, with that figure not reached until September last year. Also Q2 2016 is the 22nd consecutive quarterly rise for new plug-in car sales.
Records begin in 2011 when the UK Government introduced the Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG), offering electric car buyers an incentive to go green. Sales have continued to rise despite a change to the grant system that came into place in March 2016, which saw the original £5,000 subsidy for eligible vehicles - both pure electric (EV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) - halved for PHEVs and dropped by £500 for EVs.
The strong start to 2016 sees sales of PiCG eligible cars sit around the 70,000 mark. Transport Minister John Hayes said: "I am delighted to see record numbers of motorists coming round to the benefits of cleaner, greener vehicles, which are also cheaper to run. The low-emission sector supports over 18,000 UK jobs and is a key pillar in our ambition for a low carbon, high tech and high skills economy.
"We want to make the UK a world leader in electric vehicle uptake and manufacture, to ensure that by 2050 every car and van on our roads is a zero emission vehicle. We are backing this with one of the most comprehensive support packages in the world, with more than £600m of government investment to help grow the UK market."
Poppy Welch, Head of Go Ultra Low - the campaign backed by government and vehicle manufacturers to promote ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) - said: "The continued growth in uptake of electric cars speaks for itself as registration records continue to be broken by motorists encouraged by the benefits electric motoring can bring.
"As awareness grows and motorists see the wide variety of vehicles already on UK roads coupled with benefits such as running costs from as little as 2p per mile, more drivers than ever are becoming motivated to go green. Since the introduction of the Plug-In Car Grant was introduced in 2011 the variety of electric models has expanded significantly, notably so in the past two years, giving motorists more choice than ever before