Britons told to switch to electric cars with over 100 EVs on the market amid calls for further tax cuts

Britons told to switch to electric cars with over 100 EVs on the market amid calls for further tax cuts

WATCH: Quentin Willson on electric vehicles

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 23/05/2024

- 12:19

The UK has seen a sixfold increase in the number of electric cars in the last 10 years

Britons now have the choice of more than 100 electric vehicles on the market as experts praise the wide range of options helping drivers ditch petrol and diesel cars.

There are now a total of 102 battery electric vehicle models on the new car market across the UK, a dramatic increase compared to just 16 seen in 2014.

The new data, from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), found that almost one-third of models on the new car market are available as zero emission.

Experts have stated that this demonstrates how the automotive industry is backing the future of zero emission technology to achieve net zero goals.

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Parked electric cars

The SMMT has praised the progress made across the EV market


The UK is playing a leading role in the development of a sustainable electric vehicle market, placing it second for the largest new electric car market by volume.

In the first five months of 2024 alone, demand for new battery electric vehicles is up an impressive 10.6 per cent, as more than 100,000 motorists make the switch to electric.

According to the SMMT, the average electric range is now 236 miles, rising closer to 300 miles for new models launching across 2024, giving drivers the confidence to invest in electric without range anxiety.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said: “Manufacturers are delivering on their promises to drive down emissions and bring ever more electric car choice to consumers.

"More than 100 models are now available across every segment – a sixfold increase on 10 years ago – showing the pace of change.

"The industry can only do so much on its own, however, and if we are to make EVs open to all and drive the net zero transformation we all need, further support is required."

Data from the SMMT states that drivers can save money charging their electric vehicles using a home charger, resulting in the equivalent price of eight pence per mile.

Despite the massive boost for electric vehicles through incentives and grants, more than eight in 10 car buyers are still choosing other powertrains in the first few months of this year.

Hawes added that it was "time to reform taxes" and make public charging more affordable as some drivers remain hesitant to rely on the charging network in response to reliability fears and high prices.

Many experts have called for changes to the system of taxation in recent months over fears there could be issues with drivers being put off from investing in electric if they don't get suitable tax breaks.

Electric car owners will be required to pay Vehicle Excise Duty from April 2025 under rules laid out by the Government in 2022, with drivers set to pay the current lowest rate of tax.

There have also been calls for drivers to remain exempt from the "expensive car supplement" which will apply to new electric models with a list price of more than £40,000, which is also set to launch next April.


Electric car charging

Experts have called on the Government to slash VAT rates to help more drivers switch to EVs


A further solution for boosting the uptake of electric cars would be to temporarily halve the rate of VAT on new electric vehicle purchases, combined with cutting the VAT rate on public chargers.

A cut from 20 per cent to just five per cent would bring public chargers in line with home chargers by having the same rate of VAT on both.

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