With a UK government target of ‘most vehicles on the road being low emission’, by 2050, new research has shown out of the UK’s major cities, Manchester is among the least prepared for the switch.

The research from leading car parts retailer, Euro Car Parts, looked at the UK as a whole, as well as drilling down into the capital and the most congested cities outside of London, to see how prepared they are to make the switch. Based on factors such as the population, the amount of public charging points and their increase rate since January 2019, as well as the current volume of alternative fuel cars, Manchester will be ready for the electric takeover the eighth quickest.

The city currently has 213 charging points, the most outside of London, and a 13% increase since January, however this has to serve a population of just over 2.8m, with 1,809 alternative fuel cars already registered.

Looking at the UK as a whole, a Department for Transport report in 2018 stated only 2% of registered vehicles were low emission. And while this seems a long way off target, the YoY growth2  shows the UK has had a 37% increase in low emission cars since 2016. If it continues at this rate, the UK will have 38.2m low emission vehicles on the road by 2034, leaving the government hitting its target an impressive 16 years before its 2050 deadline.

Despite the target already predicted to be hit earlier than anticipated, the research revealed drivers aren’t quite ready to take the plunge. The poll of over 2,000 UK drivers highlighted ‘not enough charging points’ and ‘being stranded without charge or accessibility to charging services’, were their main concerns (66%), and according to YouGov3, only 2% would consider purchasing an electric car as their next vehicle.

Looking further into the volume of charging points, the UK has seen an average of 28% increase in charging points being installed YoY since 20164. If this rate continues, the UK is expected to have 322 public charging points per 10,000 low emission vehicles by 2034, suggesting the UK’s roads won’t be fully equipped for the transition, and may not meet day-to-day demand.

The number of charging points weren’t the only concern, with the distance-per-charge a worry for half of motorists (47%), as well as their electricity bills increasing (27%) and it actually being more costly than owning a petrol/diesel vehicle (22%).

Commenting on the findings, Chris Barella, Digital Services Director at Euro Car Parts, says: “It’s interesting to see that while figures suggest the government are on track to hit their low emission vehicle target, perhaps even earlier than anticipated, the nation’s views and attitudes towards alternative fuel vehicles, means we still have a long way to go.

“It seems the biggest concern is the number of charging points and it’s understandable why. If the YoY figures are anything to go by, we simply won’t be equipped to supply the demand, however it’s encouraging the government is increasing its funding for charging points in residential areas. Hopefully seeing more around the country will inspire the nation’s drivers to make the switch and help us to achieve the initiative as early as predicted.”


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