Electric car ownership could be at risk as demand considerably drops

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The latest Department of Transport (DoT) and DVLA electric vehicle registration figures showed that the number of private EVs on UK roads increased by just over 20,000 between Q2 2022 and Q3 2022.

There were 221,260 private electric vehicles on UK roads in Q2, and this increased to 242,880 by Q3, a rise of 9.8 percent, and the fourth consecutive quarter where the rate of growth in electric vehicle ownership has slowed.

Between Q1 2022 and Q2 2022, EV registrations grew by 11.6 percent and by 15.5 percent between Q4 2021 and Q1 2022.

In the corresponding period in 2021 (between Q2 2021 and Q3 2021), growth in electric vehicle registrations hit almost 19 percent, almost twice the rate of growth (9.8 percent) registered between Q2 2022 and Q3 2022.

DoT registration figures also revealed that despite London Mayor Sadiq Khan announcing earlier in the year that he was planning to expand the ULEZ zone, London has still seen the slowest growth in electric vehicle ownership of any UK region over the past 12 months.

EV registrations across the capital increased by 53 percent, between Q3 2021 and Q3 2022, from 23,353 to 35,626 BEVs. 

The next lowest growth in electric car registrations was in the South West, where private EV ownership increased 59 percent over the past 12 months.

The North West has seen the fastest growth in EV ownership of any region in the UK over the past year, with registrations up 75 percent, from 11,454 EVs registered in Q3 2021, to 20,092 in Q2 2022. 

Registrations over the past year are up 71 percent in Wales and 68 percent in Scotland.

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John Wilmot, the CEO LeaseLoco, said: “These latest figures show the impact that the cost of living crisis is having on electric vehicle registrations.

“Although the demand is there, and sales of electric cars are growing, the rate of growth has slowed noticeably as the higher cost of electricity means more car owners are likely making the decision to delay switching to electric.

“The Government has set itself ambitious ‘Road to Zero’ targets and can’t afford a prolonged downward trend in the rate of EV uptake.

“The spanner in the works could be the end of the energy price guarantee in April 2023.

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“This is hardly an incentive for car owners to switch to electric in the coming months, knowing that home charging costs could spiral.”

On top of that, motorists could be put off by the introduction of EV tax from 2025.

Research from Comparethemarket has revealed the typical annual running cost of an electric vehicle (EV) is currently £528 cheaper than a petrol-fuelled car.

The difference in running costs has fallen since last year when EVs were £601 cheaper to run.


However, following the Autumn Statement, EV owners will start paying Vehicle Excise Duty from April 2025.

If charged at the current rate of tax, this will cost EV owners £165 per year from the second year of car registration.

Many EV owners will also have to pay the expensive car supplement. This is currently set at £355 per year for cars with a list price of £40,000 or more in their second to sixth years of registration.

The combined £520 tax bill would “wipe out” the current difference in the running costs between EVs and petrol-fuelled cars, according to the experts.

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