Surge in number of electric vehicles in Cambridgeshire
Electric car technology is advancing rapidly, and the latest figures suggest that Cambridge and the wider county are getting on board the green revolution.
Over the 12 months up to September 2017, the number of registered plug-in vehicles in Cambridgeshire increased by 66 per cent – one of the biggest rises in the country.
Recently released Department for Transport statistics show the number of registered electric or plug-in hybrid cars, vans and micro cars, called quadricycles, in Cambridgeshire for each quarter of the year.
For July-September 2016 there were 928 electric vehicles. But by the latest quarter, from July-September 2017, that figure had grown to 1,539, a significant jump of 611, or 66 per cent. In Cambridge, from July-September 2016, there were 125 electric vehicles compared with 184 in the same period of 2017.
The latest Nissan Leaf, the UK’s most popular entirely-electric car, can now travel 235 miles before it needs to be recharged, 80 miles more than the previous version. And new electric cars under £40,000 are free from car tax.
Last month BP announced it would follow Shell and install charging points at its petrol stations and Dyson has also said it plans to release an electric car by 2020.
However, plug-in vehicles still make up a tiny percentage of the cars on the roads in Cambridge.
Compared with the 184 electric cars on our roads, there are 43,017 petrol or diesel cars and vans, according to the latest complete vehicle registration data from 2016.
Cambridge City Council is hoping to encourage more people to invest in an electric vehicle when they replace their cars.
This work includes introducing on-street parking charge points in residential areas, and increasing the percentage of charge points in council car parks.
It has also introduced a policy that will ensure that all taxis licensed by the authority will be petrol-electric hybrids or fully electric within 10 years.
Entrepreneur Peter Dawe, who hopes to revolutionise the Cambridge commute by introducing his CitiPod electric cycles, said of the increase in electric vehicles: “It’s good but I do not see conventional cars as a solution to congestion.”
He added that more infrastructure was needed still.