EV battery range trebled in last decade

The average battery range of an electric vehicle (EV) in the UK has more than tripled in the last decade, according to new research by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The research also found a 15-fold increase in choice of EV model in the past decade.

Average battery range has grown from 74 miles to almost 260 miles since 2011, finds the SMMT.

At the time of the launch of Britain’s first mass-produced battery EV, the Nissan LEAF, in 2011, just nine plug-in car models were available in the UK – making up less than one in 1,000 total registrations.

Today, there are more than 140 plug-in models available, accounting for around one in five new cars sold this year, with a further 50 models expected to be launched by the end of 2022.

car on road

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: ‘The ever-increasing number of electric vehicle models launched by manufacturers since 2011 shows just how far Britain has come, with industry investment stimulating innovation at an ever-faster rate. With almost 200 electrified models expected to be available by the end of the year, manufacturers are turning ambitions for zero and ultra-low emission mobility into a reality, while motorists’ demand for these vehicles increases month by month.

‘To turn this nascent demand into a mass market, however, motorists need choice, affordability and the confidence to charge. The UK has an ambitious timescale to deliver net zero and road transport must shoulder the biggest burden delivering that goal. The industry is up for the challenge but we need all stakeholders, including government, charge point providers and energy companies, to match manufacturers’ commitment by providing the competitive incentives and infrastructure that assures a zero-emission future.’

While EVs have become more visible across the UK, infrastructure has failed to keep up with demand and could stifle greater uptake, with 75% of motorists saying there are not enough public chargepoints to meet their needs according to SMMT.

The SMMT argues that further investment in chargepoint infrastructure is ‘essential’ so that all consumers in the UK can be confident they will be able to charge their EV.

They said the government’s new EV infrastructure strategy launched last month was a positive step, but there must be binding targets for chargepoint delivery that match the latest mandates on EV production to deliver infrastructure ahead of need.  

Photo by Jp Valery


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