An international study by car and van hire comparison website StreeFreeCarRental.com has ranked the UK eighth in the world when it comes to adopting carbon saving electric vehicles – far behind China and several European nations. But the country is well ahead of the US, which barely scrapes into the world top ten with concerns about range and a relative lack of charging points contributed to limited adoption.
The Netherlands was found to be most advanced in the roll out of electric vehicle technologies followed by Norway and Sweden with France ranked in fourth place. Researchers looked at both electric vehicle sales per head of population and state investment in infrastructure and charging points to compile a definitive leader board of the countries showing the way when it comes to electric cars.
Britain managed to reach eighth place in the world top ten with electric vehicle sales of more than 430,000 and 13,500 public charging stations. Those figures mean there is currently an electric vehicle on the road for every 154 people in Britain along with 32 cars for every public charging station.
Sales of petrol and diesel cars are to end in the UK by 2030 and around half the cars on our roads must be zero-emission by then if the government’s targets on carbon dioxide emissions are to be met. The study highlights how much work there is still to be done for the UK to catch up with other countries in the race to net zero carbon emissions.
China reported the highest number of electric vehicle sales in the world with more than 4.5m already on the roads but the country only managed fifth place on the leader board as its huge population means there were 304 people for every electric car. Infrastructure is strong though with a charging station for every nine cars.
In contrast 297,380 electric cars have been sold in the Netherlands – representing one for every 58 people in the country. It also has made huge investments in infrastructure with more public charging stations per car than any other country – one for every five electric cars currently on the road.
Eco-conscious Norway was found to have more electric cars per head of population than anywhere else in the world. The 480,000 vehicles sold there means there is one for every 11 people but it missed out on the top ranked spot due to having fewer public charging stations just one for every 30 cars – less than several other countries and possibly a consequence of the rapid growth in popularity of the new technology.
Norway’s neighbour Sweden was also highly ranked – taking third spot with almost 200,000 vehicles sold and a network of 10,000 public charging points. That means an electric vehicle on the road for every 52 Swedes and a charging point for every 19 cars.
France was found to be fourth in the world for electric vehicles with more than 470,000 already on the roads there – significantly more than the UK. The French also have 30,000 public charging points. These figures represent one electric car for every 143 people in France and a charging station for every 16 cars.
Germany and Japan were also ranked above the UK while Canada and the USA completed the top ten.