West Sussex’s drivers are taking up electric cars, figures show

Electric charging points
Electric charging points

Electric car technology is advancing rapidly, and the latest figures suggest that West Sussex is getting on board the green revolution.

Over the 12 months up to September 2017, the number of registered plug-in vehicles in the area increased by 57% - one of the biggest rises in the country.

Recently released Department for Transport statistics show the number of registered electric or plug-in hybrid cars, vans and micro cars called quadricycles in West Sussex for each quarter of the year.

From July 2016 and September 2016 there were 771 electric vehicles.

However by the latest quarter, from July 2017 to September 2017, that figure had grown to 1,213, a jump of 442 or 57%.

That’s less than the 2,824 in Peterborough, which had the highest increase of plug-in vehicles of any local authority in the United Kingdom.

But back in 2012 in West Sussex there were just 31 electric cars, which shows the progress the industry has made in a short time.

Over the past few years manufacturers have increased the range of their vehicles, and prices have lowered, helping fuel the rise in environmentally friendly vehicles.

The latest Nissan Leaf, the UK’s most popular entirely electric car, can now travel 235 miles before it needs to be recharged, 80 miles more than the previous version.

Last month BP announced it would follow Shell and install charging points at its petrol stations and Dyson has also said it plans to release an electric car by 2020.

One advantage electric car users have over other vehicles is that they do not have to pay road tax, as they do not release any emissions.

Electricity is also far cheaper than petrol and diesel, and green drivers have the satisfaction of helping save the planet.

However plug-in vehicles still make up a tiny percentage of the cars on the road in West Sussex.

Compared with the 1,213 electric cars on our roads, there are 504,047 petrol or diesel cars and vans, according to the latest complete vehicle registration data from 2016.

Source data <https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/all-vehicles-veh01>