The UK is lagging behind the rest of Europe in electric vehicle (EV) sales growth and risks falling behind following Rishi Sunak’s political turnaround on climate initiatives. According to data analyzed by Cornwall Insight and law firm Shoosmiths, EV sales in the UK grew by 31% in the 12 months to July, representing one of the lowest growth rates in Europe. In contrast, the 27 countries of the European Union experienced a 61% increase in sales during the same period.
The report attributed this slow growth rate in the UK to a lack of public infrastructure funding and warned that the government’s decision to delay the ban on the sale of new internal combustion vehicles could be damaging investor confidence. The Prime Minister’s announcement to postpone the ban from 2030 to 2035 has caused confusion among carmakers and investors in EV infrastructure, creating uncertainty over the timeline for British drivers to switch options. of electricity. This uncertainty could delay the expansion of charging networks, exacerbating the problem.
The research also found that in the UK there are only 11.3 EVs for every accessible public charging point, causing “another concern” for drivers considering longer journeys. In comparison, the Netherlands has 2.8 EV per charging point, while Sweden and Germany have 8.4 and 12.8, respectively.
In addition, the UK’s push to move away from fossil fuel cars is at risk due to Sunak’s policy change. The decision to delay the ban on the sale of new internal combustion vehicles, as well as the slow phase-out of gas boilers and the elimination of energy efficiency requirements for home owners, threatens the country’s progress towards achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
To regain lost ground and position itself as a leading European country in EV adoption, the report suggests that the UK needs to reaffirm its commitment to growing EV infrastructure, strengthening of incentives and restoration of investor and customer confidence.
Shoosmiths Electric Vehicle Attractiveness Index (EVCA) rankings reveal that Norway is the most attractive country for EV investment, followed by the Netherlands, France and Germany. Unfortunately, the UK has dropped two places compared to last year and is now ranked 8th out of 15 European countries.
Shoosmiths partner Chris Pritchett highlighted the potential consequences of the government’s policy change, saying it threatened new investment in the UK’s green industry and presented the quest for net zero emissions as a divisive political issue rather than a collective effort to achieve meaningful climate action.