Scots leading the charge to buy electric cars

SCOTS drivers are forging ahead with making the switch to all-electric cars, according to the latest figures.

And that’s led to renewed calls for a rapid acceleration of the charging infrastructure program in Scotland to keep pace with demand.

Sales statistics from independent transport research group New AutoMotive show new electric vehicle registrations north of the Border have gone up by nearly 75 per cent year-on-year.

They have risen from 5.89 per cent of the new-vehicle sales market share in March 2021 to 10.28 per cent during last month.

On a DVLA regional basis, Glasgow saw the figure soar from 6.16 to 12.36 per cent, while Edinburgh rose from 6.73 to 9.08. Dundee jumped from 3.82 to 6.63, Aberdeen was up from 5.41 to 8.27 and Inverness recorded a lift from 4.46 to 6.36 per cent.

Ciara Cook, research and policy officer at New AutoMotive, said: “From Aberdeen to Edinburgh, our latest data shows that Scots are increasingly opting for electric vehicles.

“Electric car sales have taken off in the last year, and are the fastest growing segment of the market in Scotland.”

Overall, car sales fell 14 per cent in the last 12 months, led by a steep decline in diesel models, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

Just 14,000 diesel cars were sold, while electric and hybrid models now account for one in three sales.

Electric Vehicle Association Scotland director Neil Swanson said: “Forward-thinking Scots are leading most of the rest of the UK in their take-up of electric vehicles.

“It is not totally surprising that Scotland’s new EV sales have risen so sharply, as our recent survey indicated, now that the negative myths around buying and owning an electric vehicle have been largely dispelled.

“Couple that with the huge rises in diesel and petrol prices, no wonder more and more Scots are switching and going all-electric.

“It is therefore imperative that our public and private EV charging infrastructures enable drivers to get their vehicles charged more easily.”

EVA Scotland director Neil Swanson

In its recent survey, EVA Scotland found that more than 90 per cent of respondents said cheaper fuel costs was a major factor in moving to an EV.

Reductions in overall running costs (71 per cent) and a more enjoyable drive (82 per cent) were also significant reasons.

A further study by car lease comparison site Moneyshake also provides an insight into which areas in Scotland have drivers that are most willing to go electric.

The research analyzed the Department for Transport’s statistics to find out which local authorities have the highest amount of electric vehicles as a percentage of all the licensed vehicles in their areas.

Drivers in Stirling seem most prepared for the switch, with 5.06 per cent of all licensed vehicles in the area being electric.

Glasgow City came in second, with a figure of 3.57 per cent and the Orkney Islands third on 1.95 per cent. Renfrewshire, Edinburgh, Dundee and East Renfrewshire also scored favourably.

Moneyshake chief Eben Lovatt said: “Electric car leasing gives you access to a greener vehicle and cheap running costs.

“With major brands such as BMW, Audi and Nissan creating their own versions of these green vehicles, and the cost of fuel continuing to increase, now is a good time to switch to an EV.”

Glaswegians’ enthusiasm for EVs comes as no surprise to experts for vehicle leasing firm Vanarama.

Its team measured the UK’s 25 most populous cities on five cost categories associated with electric motoring – from the obvious charging rates to how much of your wage an EV lease requires.

Ranking them from cheapest to costliest, based on their total index score, Glasgow came fourth with a score of 66.4 out of 100.

Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent and Portsmouth fared better, with Reading just below. Edinburgh, the only other Scottish city in the table, came 19th with a score of 51.2.

● The all-electric Hyundai Ioniq 5 crossover has dominated the 2022 World Car Awards – being named overall winner, and picking up the EV of the Year and Design of the Year gongs at a ceremony in New York.

The Korean firm’s boss, Jaehoon Chang, said: “Our vision is to enable progress for humanity and this will embolden our commitment to make that a reality.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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