Where in the UK has the most Electric Vehicles?

A picture of an electric vehicle

The last few years have seen a massive increase in the number of electric vehicles (EVs) on the UK’s roads, with many major manufacturers now offering their own plug-in cars.

Eight years ago, there were just over 6,000 EVs registered in the UK. This jumped to over 52,000 in 2015 and now stands at just under 200,000, although this represents only about 0.55% of all cars on the road.

A bar chart to show the national uptake of electric vehicles

But which parts of the country have been the quickest to embrace electric cars? We’ve turned to official figures from the DVLA to find out.

Regions with the highest EV uptake

Drivers in London have adopted electric vehicles the fastest. With 0.82% of cars in the capital being run on electric, in comparison to Wales, where there are just 4,030 EVs, which makes up just 0.23% of vehicles on the road.

With over 180 rapid charge points in the capital and a commitment to installing 300 by 2020, it’s little surprise that Londoners have been among the quickest to embrace the EV.

A graph to show the regions with the highest EV uptake

Cities with the highest EV uptake

Looking specifically at the UK’s cities, Peterborough has the highest percentage of electric vehicles, at 5.17%, although in the rest of the top five, electric vehicles still make up less than 2.5% (one in 40) of cars on the road. 

An infographic and graph to the cities with the highest EV uptake. Peterborough has the highest electric vehicle uptake out of Birmingham (2.21%), Stirling (1.62%), Portsmouth (1.44%) and Leeds (1.22%).

Areas with the highest EV uptake

In terms of EV ownership by local authority area, four of the top ten areas with the highest percentage of electric vehicles are found in the capital. The City of London has the highest proportion of EVs at just over one in every 20 cars, which is around ten times the national average.

A map of the United Kingdom to show the areas with the highest EV uptake. City of London was the top area with 5.26%, Peterborough (5.17%), Westminster (3.68%), Slough (3.17%) and Gloucester (2.40%).

At the other end of the scale, rural areas (especially those in Wales and Northern Ireland) have seen virtually no uptake of electric vehicles, with less than 0.1% of vehicles on the roads being electric in some places.

This is likely due to a lack of charging infrastructure in these areas, although some major towns such as Middlesbrough and Derry also fell in the bottom ten.

Brought to you by our car insurance experts.

Methodology & Sources

The number of electric vehicles taken from GOV.UK data table VEH0131: Licensed plug-in cars, LGVs and quadricycles by local authority: United Kingdom.

Note: ‘Electric vehicles’ is defined as “models identified as being battery-electric, plug-in hybrid electric, or range-extended electric”.

Overall vehicle numbers were taken from data table VEH0105: Licensed vehicles by body type and local authority: United Kingdom and are a total of the figure for cars and light goods vehicles for each local authority.

All data used can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/all-vehicles-veh01