Research suggests North-South divide in EV demand across UK

Data sourced from Heycar reveals a significant North-South divide in electric vehicle (EV) demand across areas of the UK, suggesting that Low Emission Zones (LEZ) help promote the use of EVs in the South, but the North is being left behind.

Heycar analysis found EV stock levels and used prices are similar across the UK, but demand has been skewed by the expansion of the  Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London and the introduction of Clean Air Zones (CAZ) in other areas.

In October 2020, EV demand in the South was 30% higher than in the North of the UK. By October 2021, this figure increased by 108% in the South’s favour, coinciding with the month when the ULEZ was extended.

Over the last six months, demand has remained 70% higher in the South.

black and silver car on parking lot

Dan Powell, Senior Editor at Heycar, said: ‘There is clear evidence to suggest that clean air zones are creating market conditions that are driving the take-up of electric cars in the south and leaving other parts of the country lagging behind.

‘Sadly, this has had a number of serious knock-on effects on car buyers in the north, with fewer public EV chargers and dwindling resources for the plug-in grant. As a result, the north-south gap will be extremely difficult to close without significant investment from the government.’

Seven cities, including Aberdeen, Bradford, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle and Sheffield are introducing or expanding clean air zones over the next year.

Some of these areas will charge or fine car drivers who don’t meet the required standard, but by this time many of the subsidies, grants and other benefits will be gone.

Government grants for individuals buying new EVs have also been cut multiple times in 2021, with the plug-in grant being slashed by £1,000 for personal vehicles and a new, lower cap of £32,000 for the values of eligible cars.

Grants for commercial vehicles have also been cut to £5000 for large vans and £2500 for small vans, and the home charging grant in England is also being axed in March.

Photo by Michael Fousert


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top