Rising number of electric vehicles in Doncaster

More Doncaster drivers are going green as the number of electric vehicles registered in the area rose last year.

Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 9:59 am
Updated Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 9:59 am

But the Labour Party says the Government needs to do more to make eco-friendly cars more affordable for families across the UK as national data suggests uptake as a whole is being driven more by companies.

Department for Transport statistics show 1,682 ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) were licensed in Doncaster at the end of last year – 59 more than at the end of 2019, when there were 1,623.

The figures include battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and fuel cell electric vehicles.

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But the number registered to the addresses of local firms actually dropped by 203, to 956, whereas there were 726 registered to private keepers – an increase of 262.

The DfT said a vehicle’s address does not necessarily reflect where it is located, especially for large fleets kept by companies for leasing or rentals.

Overall, ULEVs still only accounted for around 0.9% of all vehicles licensed in Doncaster at the end of 2020 – just below the UK average of 1.1 per cent.

The Government has committed to ending the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, and ensuring all new sales are “zero emissions at the tailpipe” by 2035.

In the DfT figures, a ULEV is defined as a vehicle with reported tailpipe CO2 emissions of fewer than 75 grams per kilometre, which means not all of them would meet this new requirement.

Across the UK, around 431,600 ULEVs were licensed at the end of 2020 – an increase of 162,300 over the year.

The majority of the spike – around 101,800 – were company-registered.

In March, the Government cut grants for electric car buyers from £3,000 to £2,500 and lowered the cap of eligible cars to £35,000, down from £50,000.

"With the climate emergency worsening, increases in electric vehicle sales are always welcome,” said Kerry McCarthy, Labour's shadow minister for green transport.

“However, rather than encouraging this trend, the Government seems to be doing all it can to stifle progress by slashing subsidies to electric vehicles and failing to set out a roadmap to smoothly transition away from petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030.

“We need to see a clear, long-term vision from the Government to support the British car industry, as well as action to support electric vehicle sales, making them affordable to families and rolling out adequate charging infrastructure."

In Doncaster, 807 of the ULEVs licensed at the end of the year were battery electric vehicles – defined as zero emission.

A further 856 were plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, which combine an electric motor with a petrol or diesel engine.

Across the UK, 64 per cent of ULEVS registered for the first time last year were battery electric vehicles, while plug-in hybrid electric vehicles accounted for 35 per cent.

Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said that more alternative fuel cars were registered across Great Britain for the first time last year, although this includes some types of hybrid vehicles not classed as ULEVs.

“This is proof that more people are moving away from diesel cars, as we build back greener and clean up the air in our towns and cities,” she added.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.