Surge in number of electric vehicles licenced in Derbyshire Dales but are families being priced out?

As figures show the number of new electric vehicles in the Derbyshire Dales surged last year, Labour has called on the Government to do more to make it an affordable option for families.

Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 6:22 pm

Department for Transport statistics show 411 ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) were licensed in the district at the end of last year – 131 more than in 2019 – including battery, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell vehicles.

That means ULEVs accounted for around 0.7 per cent of all locally licensed vehicles – just below the UK average of 1.1 per cent.

While 108 new licences in the Dales were registered to private keepers and 23 to local firms, across the UK 101,800 of 162,300 new ULEVs were licensed to companies, not households.

More Derbyshire Dales drivers are going green as the number of electric vehicles registered in the area surged last year. Photo: Miles Willis, Getty Images.

Following the Government’s decision to cut grants for buyers from £3,000 to £2,500 and lower the cap of eligible cars to £35,000, down from £50,000, Labour says action is needed to drive uptake.

Kerry McCarthy, the shadow minister for green transport, said: “With the climate emergency worsening, increases in electric vehicle sales are always welcome. However, rather than encouraging this, the Government seems to be doing all it can to stifle progress.

“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.”

The Government has promised to end the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, and ensure all new sales are “zero emissions at the tailpipe” by 2035.

But not all current ULEVs will meet that requirement. Only 213 of those licensed in the Dales last year were defined as zero emission battery vehicles.

Transport minister Rachel Maclean said that more alternative fuel cars than diesel-powered were registered across Britain for the first time last year, although this includes some hybrid vehicles not classed as ULEVs.

She added: “More people are moving away from diesel cars, as we build back greener and clean up the air in our towns and cities. With £2.8billion of government support to encourage their take-up, there has never been a better time to switch.”​​​​​​​

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