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Large increase in number of electric cars

By David Banner | Telford | Science & technology | Published:

Drivers are getting on board the green revolution in the county with a big rise in electric vehicles, the latest figures reveal.

Electric cars are on the rise

But with the eco-friendly motors still making up a small share of the market, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has called for measures to drive up their use.

Department for Transport statistics show that 297 ultra-low emission vehicles were licensed in Telford and Wrekin at the end of September – 28 per cent more than at the same point a year earlier.

Shropshire has seen a rise of 30 per cent with 972 of the vehicles licensed.

The trend has been repeated in Powys with a 51 per cent increase, where there are 281 of the vehicles registered.

The figures include battery electric, hybrid, and fuel cell electric vehicles.

Across the UK, 247,000 such vehicles were licensed at the end of September – a 33 per cent rise on the previous year.

They include 70,000 which were registered in the last year – just 2.4 per cent of 3 million new vehicles overall.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said the industry was committed to zero-emission transport, but urged the Government to encourage uptake.

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“Ambition must be matched by a world-class package of initiatives that encourage investment and innovation and allow manufacturers to sell competitively,” he added.

“This includes long-term government commitment to incentives and substantial investment in infrastructure.”

In 2018, the Government announced its ambition for at least half of new cars to be ultra-low emission by 2030.

But later in the year, it announced cuts to subsidies for green vehicles, scrapping a £2,500 grant for plug-in hybrids and slashing one for fully electric vehicles from £4,500 to £3,500.

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A DfT spokeswoman said: “Between April 2015 and July 2019, the number of new registered ultra-low emission vehicles has increased four-fold, with more than 228,000 now on UK roads, 180,000 more than in 2015.

“Last year, battery vehicles more than doubled and we’re doubling our efforts to make owning an electric vehicle the new normal.”

Company-owned vehicles can be registered to a firm’s location, so a change of address can affect the DfT figures at a local level.

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