electric vehicles, commercial, transport, autonomous vehicles

There has been a 15-fold increase in choice of electric vehicles, as well as, on average, more than three times the battery range compared with a decade ago, according to new research by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

At the time of the launch of Britain’s first mass-produced battery electric vehicle, the Nissan LEAF, in 2011, just nine plug-in car models were available in the UK – making up less than one in 1,000 total registrations. Today, there are more than 140 plug-in models available, accounting for around one in five new cars sold this year, with a further 50 models expected to be launched by the end of 2022.

SMMT will show this wide range of choice at its annual Test Day driving event on Tuesday, with 33 manufacturers demonstrating more than 100 models at Millbrook Proving Ground, including 42 plug-in electric models on the circuit.

The battery electric vehicles on display average 257 miles on a single charge – which is more than treble the average of 74 miles available at Test Day in 2011.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “The ever-increasing number of electric vehicle models launched by manufacturers since 2011 shows just how far Britain has come, with industry investment stimulating innovation at an ever-faster rate. With almost 200 electrified models expected to be available by the end of the year, manufacturers are turning ambitions for zero and ultra-low emission mobility into a reality, while motorists’ demand for these vehicles increases month by month.

“To turn this nascent demand into a mass market, however, motorists need choice, affordability and the confidence to charge. The UK has an ambitious timescale to deliver net zero and road transport must shoulder the biggest burden delivering that goal. The industry is up for the challenge but we need all stakeholders, including government, charge point providers and energy companies, to match manufacturers’ commitment by providing the competitive incentives and infrastructure that assures a zero-emission future.”

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