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Britain’s best electric city

Southampton is Britain’s most prepared city for electric cars.

That’s the result of a study by Euro Car Parts, which also names Brighton and Portsmouth as the UK’s next best cities.

As well as currently leading the way, Southampton is also in the best position to meet future UK targets, including the Government’s 2050 low emissions target deadline.

That’s the good news. The bad is that the study also shows UK drivers are not enthusiastic about the move to electric vehicles.

That’s not surprising given the UK’s pitiful lack of charging points plus the driving range of current electric cars.

Even so, Euro Car Parts say the UK is on track to hit its 2050 low emissions target by as much as 16 years (2034), despite having only 322 charging points per 10,000 vehicles when that is achieved.

Southampton currently has 77 charging points, a 13% increase since January, alongside a relatively low population compared to other major cities and 1,023 alternative fuel cars registered.

Bottom of the chart, below, is London, then Liverpool and Bristol.

ECP chart

The capital has seen a 66% increase in charging points since the start of the year to almost 4,000.

However due to its vast population (9m) and number of electric vehicles already on the road (123k), it still has a long way to go to be completely ready for the electric takeover.

Looking at the UK as a whole, a Department for Transport report in 2018 stated only 2% of registered vehicles were low emission. And while this seems a long way off target, year on year growth shows the UK has had a 37% increase in low emission cars since 2016.

If it continues at this rate, say Euro Car Parts, the UK will have 38.2m low emission vehicles on the road by 2034, leaving the Government hitting its target an impressive 16 years early.

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Chris Barella, Digital Services Director at Euro Car Parts, said: “It’s interesting to see that while figures suggest the Government is on track to hit their low emission vehicle target, perhaps even earlier than anticipated, the nation’s views and attitudes towards alternative fuel vehicles, means we still have a long way to go.

“It seems the biggest concern is the number of charging points and it’s understandable why. If the YoY figures are anything to go by, we simply won’t be equipped to supply demand.

“However it’s encouraging the Government is increasing its funding for charging points in residential areas.

“Hopefully seeing more around the country will inspire the nation’s drivers to make the switch and help us to achieve the initiative as early as predicted.”

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