Although the UK is not now aiming to reach the promised land of all-electric motoring quite as fast as before, after the government watered down its previous plans, 2023 is still proving to be an excellent year for the take-up of such vehicles.
This point does need to be emphasised lest some read too much into one month’s figures after the latest data was published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
November figures showed that while the overall number of new registrations was 9.5 per cent up on the same month in 2022, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) were down 17.1 per cent, albeit after November 2022 proved a very strong month for this category due to a supply chain backlog being cleared.
While some sceptics about electric vehicles might point to such figures as a sign of a drop in popularity, the fact remains that the first 11 months of 2023 have seen a year-on-year rise in registrations of 27.5 per cent.
It is also worth noting that hybrids have soared in popularity, with hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) rising by 27.8 per cent and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) up by 55.8 per cent.
Moreover, the SMMT said that BEVs now have a market share of 16.3 per cent and this is expected to rise to 22.3 per cent in 2024. One reason for this is the introduction of tax incentives for the fleet sector to adopt them, with this accounting for 77.4 per cent of the new 24,359 BEVs registered in November.
The fact that EV numbers are still on a clear upward trajectory highlights the need for more electricians to go on an EV charging course to learn how to install the chargers the UK will increasingly need as EV numbers increase.
Among the issues with EV adoption is not just the sheer number of chargers, but geographical variations are stark, with some parts of the country having high ratios of chargers relative to population and others far too few. This acts as a deterrent against the adoption of electric cars in the latter areas.
However, positive signs are emerging in many locations. The South Wales Argus has just highlighted the situation in Gwent, where the number of publicly available chargers has risen to 441 in October compared with 237 in the same month last year, according to Department of Transport figures.
A study by Vauxhall has given a more granular breakdown of this. It includes an increase from 72 to 135 in Newport, the third largest city in Wales, while in Monmouthshire, parts of which are rural, the figure has increased from 56 to 96, while in Blaenau Gwent the tally has soared by 165 per cent from 32 to 85 and in Caerphilly the number is up from 47 to 73.
Even Torfaen, which now has the lowest number of chargers at 52, has seen a jump from last year’s figure of 30.
The key is for more areas of the country to see similar improvements, whether in big cities, very rural areas, or regions like South Wales that are a mix of the two. By training up and becoming an installer, you can help achieve these goals.