A new study has found that there are almost 750,000 electric vehicles on UK roads, as demand for battery-powered models continues to surge. 

Motorparc data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shows this represented a significant 71 per cent increase on the year before to 748,349 electric vehicles on UK roads. This is split down to 720,053 cars, 26,990 vans, 993 buses and 313 trucks. 

Though it’s a significant increase, out of the more than 40 million vehicles on our roads, plug-in models still only make up around one in 50 vehicles. Petrol and diesel models continue to dominate overall, accounting for 95.7 per cent of vehicles on the road. 

The average age of a vehicle on the road reached a record high of 8.7 years – 12 months older than a decade ago – with this being attributed to production issues with new cars and also lockdowns when dealerships were temporarily or partially closed.

This data also shines a spotlight on varying levels of electric vehicle takeup across the UK. A third of all EVs are registered in London and the South East, representing 3.0 and 2.6 per cent of all cars in each area. In contrast, just 0.9 per cent of vehicles in the North East are electric.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Britain’s switch to electric vehicles continues to gather pace, with a record one in five new car registrations now plug-ins. However, they still represent around one in 50 cars on the road, so there is significant ground to cover if we are to fully decarbonise road transport at pace.

“The first consecutive annual fall in vehicle numbers in more than a century shows how significantly the pandemic has impacted the industry, leading Britons to hold onto their cars for longer. With fleet renewal essential to net zero, we must build consumer confidence in the economy and, for drivers, confidence in the charging infrastructure to get the transition into top gear.”