Which cities/towns in the UK can be crowned the most eco-conscious when it comes to driving?
Not so long ago, electric cars were something of a novelty, with a poor charging network and considered too expensive for the everyday motorist.
However, things are rapidly changing, with almost a quarter of a million EVs (electric vehicles) on the UK’s roads, with the government aiming to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2035, or even earlier if possible.
But where are the UK’s EV hotspots, where drivers are embracing these eco-friendly alternatives? And which areas are still behind the curve?
The UK's EV hotspots
While London and Birmingham had the most electric vehicles overall (28,907 and 18,988 respectively), the city with the highest proportion of EVs was actually Peterborough, where 5.27% of vehicles are electric, which works out at about one in every 20. This was followed by the Forest of Dean (4.57%) and Slough (3.45%).
However, it was largely areas in Northern Ireland and Wales that had the lowest proportion of EVs, largely due to a lack of charging infrastructure, with Fermanagh & Omagh in Northern Ireland (0.09%) and Blaenau Gwent in Wales (0.1%) having the lowest uptake of EVs.
Number of EVs in each local authority
London's EV hotspots
London is largely ahead of the curve when it comes to the adoption of electric vehicles, with one in every hundred (1.09%) of vehicles being electric, compared to 0.71% for the nation as a whole, with a much greater charging infrastructure to convince people to go electric.
Aside from the City of London, which has a very low resident population, Westminster was the borough with the highest percentage of EVs, with 3.66%, followed by Kensington & Chelsea (2.61%) and Camden (2.55%).
However, there are still many London boroughs which fall behind the national average when it comes to the proportion of EVs, including Havering (0.38%), Barking & Dagenham (0.42%) and Bexley (0.44%).
Number of EVs in each London borough
How to be an Eco-Savvy driver
If you’re one of the 32 million drivers yet to invest in an electric car, there are still lots of steps that you can take to lessen your impact on the environment when driving.
- Plan your journey - Not only is sitting in traffic one of the most frustrating ways to spend your time but all the time you’re sat in your stationary car, you’re pumping emissions into the atmosphere, so try setting off to work a bit earlier or trying an alternative route.
- Drive steadily - Try to maintain a constant and steady speed while you’re driving, to limit the amount of fuel that you get through. Make sure that you’re always anticipating what’s coming so that you can brake more gradually.
- Car share - Of course, the greenest way to drive is to not drive at all, so always consider whether your journey is necessary. Offer up any spare seats in your car for the commute to ensure that fewer people are on the roads.
- Check your tyre pressure - You should be doing this regularly anyway, but if your tyres are a little flat, it means that your car has to do more work to get going, in turn using up more fuel.
- Lighten your load - The heavier your vehicle, the more fuel it burns, so try to keep the amount of stuff in your car to a minimum, including things such as roof boxes which you aren’t using, as these will make the vehicle less aerodynamic and burn more fuel.
All figures were taken from the Department for Transport’s Vehicle Licensing Statistics, specifically Table 0105 for the total number of licensed vehicles in each local authority and Table 0131 for the total number of plug-in cars and light goods vehicles, which includes all models identified as being battery-electric, plug-in hybrid electric, or range-extended electric.