Electric Vehicle Statistics 2020

woman charging electric vehicle

By 7 min read


Having an electric car can save you £11,700 over its lifetime

You can drive a typical electric car from London to Leeds on a single charge

Electric vehicles saved 2.8 million tonnes of CO2e in 2019


Buying an electric car is one of the quickest ways to reduce your carbon footprint and fight climate change – but as with any new technology, you want to know that it’ll be worth it.

We’ve got you covered with all the latest statistics.

woman charging electric vehicle

Popularity

How many electric vehicles are there in Britain?

There are 758,200 electric vehicles in Britain, according to government data from September 2020 – though that number is rising.

What percentage of vehicles in Britain are electric?

2.38% of road vehicles in Britain are electric, according to government data.

What’s the most popular electric vehicle?

The most popular electric vehicle is currently the Tesla Model 3

From April 2019 to March 2020, UK drivers registered twice as many of these Elon Musk creations as any other electric vehicle, according to the government’s vehicle licensing statistics.

Do more people own electric vehicles now?

Yes. Britain has seen a massive rise in electric vehicle ownership over the past two decades.

From 2000 to 2009, the number of electric vehicles rose from a mere 400 to 62,800 – a 15,700% increase.

In the 2010s, this figure jumped from 83,900 to 758,200. That represents a massive 904% upward shift.

And the good news doesn’t stop there. Every year since 2010, the annual increases in electric models have gone up. 

And they’ve rapidly surged in popularity over the past few years. There were 108,000 more electric models registered in 2017 than the previous year – and in 2018, this figure rose to 132,000.

In 2019, there were another 166,000 electric vehicles on these shores. For now, this is a rollercoaster that only goes up.

Carbon emissions

Are electric vehicle owners fighting climate change?

In 2019, electric drivers in the UK stopped the climate from being exposed to 2.8 million tonnes of CO2e*.

That’s how much CO2e would have been released if the country’s 758,200 electric vehicles were powered by fossil fuels instead.

But as long as electric drivers signed up to one of the many 100% renewable energy plans currently available, their vehicles wouldn’t contribute to carbon emissions, giving them an emissions total of zero.

That means that unlike drivers who use fossil fuels, each electric driver will save 54.15 tonnes of CO2e over their vehicle’s typical 150,000-mile lifetime.

If every vehicle currently registered in our country – all 31,888,400 of them – was electric, we could save 1.73 billion tonnes of CO2e over the course of those vehicles’ lifetimes.

If you drive a petrol, diesel, or gas-powered vehicle, enter how many miles you drive per year below, and we’ll tell you how many tonnes of CO2e you release annually. The average is 3.7 tonnes.

 

*carbon dioxide equivalent, a measurement that converts all greenhouse emissions into CO2 terms

Driving carbon emissions calculator

How much CO2e would be saved if everyone drove electric vehicles?

Road traffic in the UK released 118 million tonnes of CO2e over the year, which could be eradicated entirely.

All it would take is everyone driving an electric vehicle that’s charged with green energy – and that’s completely feasible.

You can now sign up to 100% renewable plans with everyone from Octopus to Big Six energy suppliers like Npower and E.ON.

Distance

How far can you drive an electric vehicle without charging?

The average electric vehicle can travel for 198 miles on a full charge.

If you were driving north from the centre of London, you could make it to Leeds, Liverpool, or Manchester with some juice left in the tank.

And if you wanted to go south, you could get to Exeter and even Plymouth without needing to recharge – and if you’re looking westwards, Swansea is well within range.

Cast your eye over all the destinations within your reach on just a single charge – and remember that if you travel to Europe on a ferry, your electric vehicles will go even further into the continent than this map suggests.

map of typical electric vehicle range

Money

Cost of owning an electric vehicle vs a petrol car

The average cost of running an 100% electric car is 4p per mile, according to the UK government.

And the latest vehicles can beat this figure, with the Nissan Leaf e+ costing just 3.7p per mile, according to our calculations.

This figure stacks up nicely against petrol cars, which cost 11.8p per mile – three times more than Nissan’s model.

How much will you save over an electric vehicle’s lifetime?

A car will generally clock up around 150,000 miles across its lifetime, which means that even though electric models can be more expensive initially, they can save you several bucket loads over the years.

If you buy an average electric vehicle, you’ll spend £6,000 on charging it.

In contrast, a petrol car will cost £17,700 to go the same distance over its lifetime, which is £11,700 extra.

And of course, you’ll spend even less if you buy a home charger.

You can currently use the government’s Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme to get £350 off the cost of a home charging point. Fill in this form to see how much one would cost you.

Charging points

How many public charging points are there in the UK?

There are 17,947 public charging points for electric vehicles in the UK, as of April 1st 2020, according to the Department of Transport.

3,107 of these are rapid chargers, which will do the same job at anywhere from two to 14 times the speed of other charging points.

Has the number of public chargers grown over time?

It very much has. Since 2015, the number of public chargers has increased by 402%.

From 2018 to 2019, the number rose by 61% – and then from the start of 2019 to the start of 2020, it grew by another 55%.

The current figure of 17,947 is more than twice the number of petrol stations, of which there are now just 8,406, according to the UK Petroleum Industry Association’s 2019 report.

The first quarter of 2020 saw another 1,436 public chargers installed, and though COVID-19 will slow the industry down a touch, there’s every reason to think it’ll pick up again in 2021.

How many electric vehicles are there per public charger?

This number has fallen precipitously over the past few years, from 75 vehicles per public charger in 2015, to just 46 per charger in 2019.

Ideally, you want there to always be a free public charger when you pull up to a refuelling station. These numbers mean you’ll have to share with fewer drivers, despite the huge rise in electric vehicle ownership.

How about the other way round?

Let’s flip it round: in 2015, there were 13 charging points for every 1,000 electric vehicles.

Just a few years later, in 2019, there were 22 charging points per 1,000 electric vehicles.

That means the likelihood that there’ll be a charger when you need one has skyrocketed by 69% in just four years – and there’s every reason to think that trend will continue.

Summary

The electric vehicle industry is well-placed to keep gaining on its fossil fuel-powered counterpart at a rapid pace.

With models getting better and better, charging points becoming a more common sight with every passing year, and electricity already significantly cheaper than petrol, it’s clear that electric vehicles are the future.

If you want to embrace progress and take advantage of the government’s Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme to get £350 off the cost of a home charging point at the same time, just fill in this form.

Josh Jackman Writer

Josh is The Eco Experts’ main man for home security, smart devices, and boilers. If it can make your life better and help the environment, he’s on it.