Law should require electric cars to make up one in six new cars sold

The Government should enforce new rules that require 15 per cent of all new cars sold by manufacturers to be fully electric vehicles, according to a campaign group.  

With the latest pure electric models becoming more affordable and offering longer driving ranges between charges, charity Global Action Plan says ministers should force the hand of car firms to do more to promote plug-in vehicles.

It said the Government has allowed ‘corporate failure’ in recent years, with auto firms permitted to market gas-guzzling SUVs when cleaner vehicles should be promoted.

A calculation has revealed which on-sale electric models cost the least to drive 100 miles – find out which cars top the charts below. 

Government has allowed 'corporate failure' when it comes to electric cars: A campaign group has called on ministers to introduce new laws to promote the sale of zero-emission cars and cut back on marketing of gas-guzzling vehicles like SUVs

Government has allowed 'corporate failure' when it comes to electric cars: A campaign group has called on ministers to introduce new laws to promote the sale of zero-emission cars and cut back on marketing of gas-guzzling vehicles like SUVs

Government has allowed ‘corporate failure’ when it comes to electric cars: A campaign group has called on ministers to introduce new laws to promote the sale of zero-emission cars and cut back on marketing of gas-guzzling vehicles like SUVs

Lat year, just 1.6 per cent of all new cars bought in the UK were Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs).

They accounted for 37,850 of the 2.3million new motors that entered our road network in 2019.

However, the market share of BEVs is much higher so far this term, with more drivers making the switch to zero-emission cars already in 2020 than they did in 2019 as a whole.

By the end of July, a total of 39,119 new BEVs have been purchased by drivers, which account for 4.7 per cent of the 828,400 vehicle registrations in 2020.

There is a projection for 62,000 new pure electric models to be sold, based on stats for the first six months of the year.

But Global Action Plan says this shift to cleaner motoring isn’t happening fast enough, and the government should increase regulation of the industry and impose sanctions on brands who don’t flog enough cars that plug into charge points.

It wants ministers to force manufacturers to sell a 15 per cent quota of electric vehicles – which works out at around one in six of all new models leaving showrooms being BEVs.

Charity group Global Action Plan says one in six new models sold by manufacturers in the UK should be electric

Charity group Global Action Plan says one in six new models sold by manufacturers in the UK should be electric

Charity group Global Action Plan says one in six new models sold by manufacturers in the UK should be electric

That’s despite car makers already facing strict EU rules that dictate by how much they need to reduce the carbon emission outputs of its vehicle range in the coming years ahead of plans for the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars to be banned entirely, in some countries by the end of the decade.

Britain’s current proposal is for the sale of new passengers cars with internal combustion engines to be banned from 2035 – though there have been suggestions by Transport Minister Grant Shapps that the deadline could be accelerated to 2032.

New research by GAP and the FIA Foundation suggests that electric cars have already become a viable option for millions of drivers in the UK who are overlooking the benefits of low-emission vehicles.

It says there is now a wide choice of electric cars available across sectors and range anxiety is becoming less of an issue, with some Teslas now capable of up to 375 miles and sub-£30,000 BEVs offering driving distances close to 300 miles between charges.

Researchers claim this would be more than adequate for households that have a second car, which account for 5.7 millions of vehicles on our roads. 

The study found that three in five of two-car families have off-road parking, and therefore easy access to plug their motors into home charge points.

These motorists also never drive these second vehicles more than 50 miles at a time, which falls well inside the range bracket of all the latest BEVs to hit the market in recent years. 

The campaigner claimed that 5.7million cars on UK roads are second vehicles in households. It wants these motors to be replaced with EVs, like Renault's small Zoe (pictured)

The campaigner claimed that 5.7million cars on UK roads are second vehicles in households. It wants these motors to be replaced with EVs, like Renault's small Zoe (pictured)

The campaigner claimed that 5.7million cars on UK roads are second vehicles in households. It wants these motors to be replaced with EVs, like Renault’s small Zoe (pictured)

The research also showed that the majority of UK households want the government to do more to encourage motorists to consider electric cars. 

A massive 90 per cent supported a statement calling for central and local government to regulate car companies to force them to sell more affordable low-emission vehicles – a notion Global Action Plan’s chief executive, Chris Large, supports.

The car industry often cites the long family holiday and availability of public charge points as a major reason that drivers won’t go electric. But for one in six cars on the road – the ‘second’ car in 5.7m households – these are not problems and electric cars are the perfect vehicle.
Chris Large – Global Action Plan 

Commenting on the study, he said: ‘The car industry often cites the long family holiday and availability of public charge points as a major reason that drivers won’t go electric.

‘But the facts are that for one in six cars on the road – the ‘second’ car in 5.7 million households – these are not problems and electric cars are the perfect vehicle.

‘If the car industry had spent the last decade producing Nissan Leaf-type cars, instead of spending billions on marketing SUVs, we would be doing far better than the current level of 1 in 99 cars on the road being fully electric.’

He added: ‘The Government must not allow this corporate failure to persist and must regulate the market. 

‘The car companies that made $600 billion profit from selling diesel and petrol cars in the last decade, must be made to focus on mass-producing zero-emission vehicles in this decade.’

The Mini Electric is built at the firm's car factory in Oxford. Since last year it has produced over 12,000 examples of the small BEV

The Mini Electric is built at the firm's car factory in Oxford. Since last year it has produced over 12,000 examples of the small BEV

The Mini Electric is built at the firm’s car factory in Oxford. Since last year it has produced over 12,000 examples of the small BEV

The Honda e is one of the latest small electric cars to hit the market. While it has cute looks, it does have a limited range of just 125 miles and costs a whopping £26,000

The Honda e is one of the latest small electric cars to hit the market. While it has cute looks, it does have a limited range of just 125 miles and costs a whopping £26,000

The Honda e is one of the latest small electric cars to hit the market. While it has cute looks, it does have a limited range of just 125 miles and costs a whopping £26,000

The claims do overlook one of the next biggest hurdles drivers have when it comes to electric car ownership – and that’s cost.

Even with the support of the government’s £3,000 plug-in car grant, small BEVs like the Mini Electric and Honda E cost in the region of £24,400 to £26,160.

With most two-car families having a smaller car as their second vehicle, many are second-hand and cost a fraction of the price of new BEVs.  

What are the cheapest electric cars to charge and drive?

In order to understand which of the current crop of BEVs on the market today and cheapest to drive and charge, used car site ChooseMyCar has calculated which will of the latest models will be most affordable to own. 

To calculate the cost to fully charge each vehicle, it multiplied the battery capacity of the model by the average cost of electricity per kWh (14.37p at the time of the research, according to UK Power figures). 

It then worked out the cost per 100 miles by dividing the cost to fully charge by the vehicle’s electric range and multiplied by 100.

Having done the same calculation for 84 electric car variants on the market in the UK today, it provided This is Money with the top 12 cheapest to drive every 100 miles.

THE 12 CHEAPEST ELECTRIC CARS TO DRIVE (BASED ON COST PER 100 MILES) 
Rank Vehicle Price (after £3,000 PICG) Battery Capacity (kWh) Electric Range (mi) Cost to Fully Charge Cost per 100 Miles
1 Renault Zoe ZE50 R110  £26,495 52 245 £7.47 £3.05
2 Nissan Leaf  £26,845  40  168  £5.75  £3.42 
Hyundai IONIQ Electric  £30,950  40.4  155  £5.81  £3.75 
Nissan Leaf e+ £33,295  62  239  £8.91  £3.73 
5 Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus £37,490 50 190 £7.19 £3.78
6 Tesla Model 3 Long Range Dual Motor £43,990 75 280 £10.78 £3.85
7 Fiat 500e* £26,995 42 155 £6.04 £3.89
8 Hyundai Kona Electric £30,150 67.5 245 £9.70 £3.96
9 Tesla Model 3 Long Range Performance £56,490** 75 270 £10.78 £3.99
10 Mercedes-Benz EQA* n/a 60 215 £8.62 £4.01
11 Volkswagen ID.3 Pure* n/a 48 170 £6.90 £4.06
12 Honda e* £26,160 35.5 125 £5.10 £4.08
Source:  ChooseMyCar
*model not yet on sale in the UK
**model not eligible for the PICG due to it being priced at over £50,000
The calculation shows the Renault Zoe is the cheapest EV to drive over 100 miles, costing just £3.05, a study found

The calculation shows the Renault Zoe is the cheapest EV to drive over 100 miles, costing just £3.05, a study found

The calculation shows the Renault Zoe is the cheapest EV to drive over 100 miles, costing just £3.05, a study found

The Nissan Leaf and Leaf e+ were among the top performers in terms of cheapest to drive 100 miles, taking second and fourth spot in the calculations respectively

The Nissan Leaf and Leaf e+ were among the top performers in terms of cheapest to drive 100 miles, taking second and fourth spot in the calculations respectively

The Nissan Leaf and Leaf e+ were among the top performers in terms of cheapest to drive 100 miles, taking second and fourth spot in the calculations respectively

Used car site ChooseMyCar has calculated that the Hyundai Ioniq is the third cheapest EV to drive 100 miles

Used car site ChooseMyCar has calculated that the Hyundai Ioniq is the third cheapest EV to drive 100 miles

Used car site ChooseMyCar has calculated that the Hyundai Ioniq is the third cheapest EV to drive 100 miles

Topping the chart was the Renault Zoe, which costs from £26,495.

It has been estimated to cost just £3.05 to cover 100 miles, based on its range and battery capacity.

The bigger Hyundai Ioniq Electric, which costs from £30,950, came in second.

It was estimated to cost £3.75 to drive every 100 miles, using the calculation.

Next in the standings is the Telsa Model 3 in Standard Range Plus (£37,490) and Long Range (£43,990), which costs £3.78 and £3.85 to drive every 100 miles, according to the study.

More affordable models to make the top 12 include the new Fiat 500e, which has yet to arrive in the UK but will cost from £26,995, and the £26,495 Renault Zoe ZE50 R110, which will cost owners £3.89 and £4.03 to drive every 100 miles respectively. The Honda e also slipped into the standings, with a 100-mile cost of £4.08.

The Tesla Model 3 in Standard Range Plus (£37,490) and Long Range (£43,990), which costs £3.78 and £3.85 to drive every 100 miles

The Tesla Model 3 in Standard Range Plus (£37,490) and Long Range (£43,990), which costs £3.78 and £3.85 to drive every 100 miles

The Tesla Model 3 in Standard Range Plus (£37,490) and Long Range (£43,990), which costs £3.78 and £3.85 to drive every 100 miles

The new Fiat 500 will be electric only, though the Italian firm will continue to sell the existing 500 city car with petrol engines for the foreseeable future. The latest-generation electrified car made the top 12 of cheapest EVs to drive 100 miles

The new Fiat 500 will be electric only, though the Italian firm will continue to sell the existing 500 city car with petrol engines for the foreseeable future. The latest-generation electrified car made the top 12 of cheapest EVs to drive 100 miles

The new Fiat 500 will be electric only, though the Italian firm will continue to sell the existing 500 city car with petrol engines for the foreseeable future. The latest-generation electrified car made the top 12 of cheapest EVs to drive 100 miles

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