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  • Feb 22, 2022
  • 3 Minutes

Where is the UK’s electric car hotspot right now?

If you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint and drive a more environmentally-friendly car, switching to an electric vehicle is the move for you.

But don’t just take it from us! Thousands of motorists up and down the UK are making the switch, with the UK’s journey to mainstream adoption of electric cars accelerating faster than ever.

Our data insights team recently found that annual EV sales have almost tripled – yearly finance cases for battery electric vehicles (BEV) surged 160% from 2020 to 2021.

This trend is all the more impressive considering the level of volatililty the automotive industry has faced lately, with EV sales increasing in spite of Brexit, the Covid-19 pandemic and the semiconductor shortage.

Our data also highlights that demand for electric vehicles has rocketed since the pandemic, with annual EV finance cases soaring 436% between 2019 and 2021.

What’s caused this uptick in demand?

Our data insights team suggest that the nation has become more invested in green and environmentally-friendly travel over the past two years, with many people changing their attitudes towards sustainable transport in lockdown.

This is backed up by new research showing that a third of Brits (38%) are living more sustainably – such as buying more plastic-free products and recycling more – since the Covid-19 pandemic*.

What’s more, people are also now more likely to buy an EV (26%) than use public transport (24%), or buy a petrol or diesel car (19%) compared to before the pandemic.

Where is the UK’s EV hotspot?

After looking at all our available data, we’ve been able to crown Swindon as the nation’s top EV location, with more finance cases for electric cars activated in the Wiltshire town than anywhere else in the UK last year!

Regionally, however, the Midlands is the UK’s EV hotspot, with Stratford-upon-Avon, Tamworth and Solihull all listed in our top five locations for EV finance activations in 2021. Guildford in Surrey completes the top five.

We can also report that we activated more finance cases for the Volkswagen ID.3 than any other electric car in 2021, followed by the Porsche Taycan, Audi Q4 e-tron and Volkswagen ID.4.

What do the experts say?

Our CEO Mike Todd revealed that the government must now focus on providing a charging infrastructure to match the increasing popularity of EVs.

He said: “The UK’s electric car market is in overdrive at the moment and the rapid acceleration of demand for electromobility has led to a phenomenal growth in this sector.

“We’ve never had more EVs on our roads than we do right now, but I think the challenge in the short to medium term is to ensure that the public charging network keeps pace with the increasing popularity of electric vehicles.

“Industry leaders have reported that to meet the government’s decarbonisation targets, we need to transition from one in a hundred cars on our roads being electric, to potentially one in three in just eight years. It’s a tall order but if our data is anything to go by, I believe we are well on our way to achieving these important milestones.”

The UK government is due to ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, and has announced a £2.8 billion windfall to support a nationwide switch to electrification, including £582 million for vehicle grants, £1.3 billion for grid capacity and charging infrastructure and £1 billion for industrial and supply chain transition.

With more than 37,000 battery electric car sales last year, the Volkswagen Group became the clear market leader in the growing zero emission battery electric vehicle sector in 2021.

*The data for this study was collected in December 2021, comprising responses from 2,012 British respondents.

For more information, visit our dedicated EV hub.

READ MORE: How many of us are living more sustainably since the pandemic?

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