Revealed: the towns and cities where EV ownership is surging

Using data sourced from a Freedom of Information request, we can reveal the 20 towns and cities were electric car demand is growing fast

EV ownership surges

This year is likely to be pivotal for the electric car industry. Recent growth will be accelerated by a growing range of EVs, including some affordable entries at the lower end of the market. But which towns and cities are playing host to EV advocates and early adopters? To find out, submitted a Freedom of Information request to the DVLA. Here, we reveal the number of EVs registered in the first nine months of 2019 compared with the same period in 2018. The results are presented in reverse order, ranked by percentage increase.

20. Stafford – 233.3 percent

EV ownership surges

Our first stop is Stafford, where 13 electric cars were registered in the nine months to September 2018. Fast-forward 12 months and the number over the same period had increased to 43. Stafford isn’t to be confused with Stratford, where the number of EV registrations went down 47.8 percent.

19. Newark – 233.3 percent

EV ownership surges

Heading east from Stafford, we arrive at the Nottinghamshire town of Newark. Here, electric car registrations have increased 233.3 percent, from 12 to 40. Alex Buttle, director, said: “The government is under huge pressure to encourage switching to electric cars and these figures do suggest that car buying habits are changing, although not equally across the UK.”

18. Lewes – 238.5 percent

EV ownership surges

Lewes is the county town of East Sussex and home to a growing number of electric cars. A total of 44 EVs were registered in the nine months to September 2019 – that’s far more than the 13 registered in the same period in 2018. Let’s hope there are enough charging points for everyone.

17. Basildon – 240 percent

EV ownership surges

Basildon was created following the Second World War to house the overspill from London. Today, its residents are doing their bit for lower emissions by buying more electric cars. The number is up from 20 to 68.

16. Swansea – 248.5 percent

EV ownership surges

Swansea appears to be cleaning up its act, with the city witnessing a 248.5 percent increase in the number of electric cars, up from 33 to 115.

15. Bury – 250 percent

EV ownership surges

“Many car owners have expressed a reluctance to switch to electric until they are confident that there is a charging infrastructure in place that will be able to cope with demand,” said Alex Buttle. In Bury, EV ownership has gone up from 26 to 91.

14. Belfast – 251.9 percent

EV ownership surges

Things are even better in Belfast, where EV ownership has increased by 251.9 percent. A total of 95 electric cars is a relatively small figure, but with more EVs coming to market, the number can only increase.

13. Peterborough – 270.9 percent

EV ownership surges

In Peterborough, the percentage increase is only half the story. A total of 664 electric cars were registered in the nine months to September 2019 – the third highest on the list. That’s up from 179 in 2018.

12. Lancaster – 276.9 percent

EV ownership surges

Just 49 electric cars were registered in Lancaster, but that’s a 276.9 percent increase. Using a service like Zap-Map will allow visitors to Lancaster to find local charging points.

11. Sheffield – 278.4 percent

EV ownership surges

“The challenge for the government over the next 12 months is not just to support a car industry that has been through tough times since 2016, but also to find a way to encourage and incentivise more car owners to buy new electric and hybrid cars now,” said Alex Buttle. It looks like the people of Sheffield are ahead of the curve.

10. Bridgend – 280 percent

EV ownership surges

With 38 electric cars registered in the nine months to September 2019, Bridgend has the lowest concentration of EVs in the top 20. Still, you have to start somewhere.

9. Rotherham – 281.8 percent

EV ownership surges

Just 42 electric cars were registered in Rotherham in the 12 months to September 2019 – that’s an increase of 281.8 percent.

8. Tunbridge Wells – 329.4 percent

EV ownership surges

We’d have expected a greater number of affluent towns and cities in the South East to appear on this list. As it happens, Tunbridge Wells is the only south-eastern town to appear in the top 10, with the number of EVs going up from 17 to 73.

7. Leeds – 358.5 percent

EV ownership surges

With 674 EVs registered in the nine months to September 2019, Leeds has the second highest concentration of electric cars in the top 20. We could make a joke about charging Leeds, but we won’t.

6. Solihull – 400 percent

EV ownership surges

Fortunately, we don’t know any Solihull jokes. However, we do know that 255 electric cars were registered in the West Midlands town in the nine months to September 2019 – that’s a 400 percent increase.

5. Chesterfield – 400 percent

EV ownership surges

Chesterfield is famous for its crooked spire, but there’s nothing wonky about these figures. In 2018, just eight EVs were registered in the Derbyshire town. A year later, that number had increased to 40.

4. Portsmouth – 416.2 percent

EV ownership surges

There are contrasting fortunes down in Hampshire. While Eastleigh has seen a 40.7 percent fall in the number of EV registered, down on the coast, the number has gone up by 416.2 percent. Play up, Pompey. Or something.

3. Stirling – 416.7 percent

EV ownership surges

Into the top three, where we find the Scottish city of Stirling. The number of EV registrations has gone up from 24 to 124.

2. Doncaster – 489.1 percent

EV ownership surges

Next up is Doncaster, with the South Yorkshire town playing host to a 489.1 percent surge in the number of EVs. The figure is up from 55 to 324.

1. Birmingham – 527.1 percent

EV ownership surges

Birmingham has seen the fastest growth in new electric car ownership of any town or city in the UK. A total of 2,132 EVs were registered in the nine months to September 2019, making it the UK’s most switched on city.

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Gavin Braithwaite-Smith
Writer with a penchant for #FrenchTat. Also doing a passable impression of Cousin Eddie in an Italian-German beige motorhome.



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