UK demand for electric vehicles grew by a substantial 31.8% in the first six months of 2016 compared with the same period from the year before.
With 19,252 new electric cars registered in 2016 so far, Nissan believes the ‘tipping point’ for EVs is already upon us. It expects the number of charging stations being fitted to car parks to rocket as a result, and predicts that there will be some 7900 charging stations in Britain by August 2020.
Consequently, the number of fuel stations is expected to decrease by this date, with Nissan predicting that there will be just 7870 fuel stations left in August 2020, representing a loss of 602 stations compared with the end of 2015.
Admittedly, Nissan is comparing the number of individual charging stations with the number of fuel stations, where several fuel pumps are available. However, there's no denying the overall trend illustrates a clear change in demand in the UK market.
Earlier this year, the Government adjusted the grant structure it offers to EV buyers, with the maximum amount reducing from £5000 to £4500. Despite this reduction in discount, EV demand has continued to grow, suggesting that other factors, such as reduced running costs and a pro-environmental image, are drawing people away from combustion-engined cars.
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has been the UK’s most popular plug-in hybrid electric model, with 5738 examples of the SUV being sold over the first six months of 2016. The Nissan Leaf remains the best-selling pure-electric model, with 2336 new registrations in that same period.