Ultra Low Emission Vehicle Uptake Is Only 0.5 Per Cent Of UK Total

Fri 12th Apr 2019

Despite all the hard work of environmental campaigners and punishing pollution charges, the percentage of ULEV qualifying cars is still just one in 200 cars on the road.

In the week that the ultra-low emission zone came into force in central London, the Department of Transport figures have revealed that just 220,295 ULEVs were licensed at the end of 2018, and though that figure is up significantly on 2017 figures, it still only represents 0.5% of the country’s total driving force.

The newly published figures show that there is still much work to be done to get the UK up to speed with the need to reduce emissions. An ULEV is typically defined as a vehicle which emits less than 75g of carbon dioxide for every kilometre of travel, usually pure electric or plug-in hybrids.

Speaking about the figures, Steve Gooding from the RAC Foundation said: “The relatively slow take-up of electric cars shows how important government incentives remain and any changes – such as cuts in the level of the plug-in grant and restrictions on eligibility seen in October last year – have to be finely tuned.

“The data also underlines the continued dominance of diesel. Whilst there are more petrol cars than diesel, diesel fuel sells at almost twice the volume because of its use in almost all commercial vehicles including HGVs and the fast-rising number of vans.”

The ULEV zone was introduced this week in central London, but is expected to be pushed out to the outer areas of London over the next few years, meaning all older and polluting cars will be forced to pay a daily £12.50 charge to be in the zone.