Stockport tops the list as the town where EVs and plug-in hybrids have gained the most popularity.
According to confused.com figures, over the last five years, the town which lies 7 miles south-east of Manchester saw an impressive 851.3% average yearly rise in electric vehicles with the number of EVs registered in the area growing from just 415 at the start of 2018 to 93,686 earlier this year. That means, in theory, that with a population of 294,000, Stockport has nearly one EV for every three residents.
However, it notes that most of these EVs are registered to companies, suggesting many might be on lease, likely because of the high initial costs of EV ownership.
Kim Costello, chief marketing officer and chief customer officer at Pendragon, agreed: “With the large number of car showrooms in Stockport, it is likely they conduct a significant volume of fleet sales. As we know, last year fleet sales outperformed retail sales, and coupled with the taxation benefits and government initiatives behind new EV purchases this could have made the proposition very appealing for local businesses in the Stockport area. If fleet sales in Stockport surpassed the national annual trend, it would make sense to assume that this was a key contributing factor as to why Stockport has become the country’s EV hotspot.”
Costello added that there could also be a number of factors which could have influenced the uptake of EVs from motorists in Stockport over the last five years.
“It is no secret that Greater Manchester loudly proclaimed their desire to be player in the country’s clean air initiatives. The Clean Air Zone for the region was delayed in 2022 to allow for further consultation, but in the 3 or 4 years leading up to that, many businesses made the switch to EVs to avoid daily charges and given the concentration of dealerships in Stockport, a good percentage of those fleet sales could well have been completed in the town.
“In addition, in March 2023 Stockport Council announced a £15 million funding initiative with Be.EV for 100 public charging points across 20 locations in the town. The first of these charging hubs, consisting of four charging bays was announced on January 17.
“This investment in charging infrastructure from a local government level could have given a confidence boost to the local community who were already considering purchasing an EV. The comfort of having a vast amount of ideally placed local charging points may well have helped combat customers’ range anxiety, as well as removing the need to have a charging point at home.”
According to the figures, Gloucestershire’s Forest of Dean has also seen a considerable increase in EVs on its roads, through a 448.6% increase in registered EVs. Between 2019 and 2020 alone, the number of registered EVs grew substantially, jumping from 214 to 5,109.
Redditch in the West Midlands also witnessed annual growth of 206% over the last five years with a notable acceleration in uptake over the last year from 1,777 to 8,104 electric vehicles.