Clean winners

Exeter is the UK’s “Green Hotspot”.

That’s the result of a report by car selling comparison website Motorway.co.uk as a result of a Freedom of Information request.

Exeter has seen an incredible 157% growth in ULEV (Ultra Low Emissions Vehicles) registrations of cars like top selling electric car the Nissan Leaf, above, over the past year.

That’s the good news.

Sunderland has been given the title of Britain’s “Green Notspot” after it registered a pitiful rise of 6.5% in 2019.

Renfrewshire is the top region, as opposed to a local authority, for growth in ULEVs – up 71% since 2018.

But it’s Gloucestershire which is bottom of the pile, with annual growth of 5.9%.


ULEV figures include all-electric vehicles like the Renault Zoe, above, electric range-extender vehicles and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs).

The FoI data shows that seven of the top 10 local authorities for ULEV registrations since 2018, are London boroughs, with Newham and Waltham Forest seeing annual growth of 114% and 82% respectively.

Motorway.co.uk director Alex Buttle said: “These figures show a huge disparity between areas that are embracing greener motoring and areas where take-up of ULEVs is in the slow lane.

“They highlight the need to focus not just at a national level, but also to confront issues at a regional level in areas where ULEV take-up is lagging behind.

“The Government is now under tremendous pressure to encourage motorists to move to electric cars and other forms of ultra-low emissions vehicles in time for the 2040 switchover.

“According to recent SMMT figures, 10% of UK new car sales are now in the alternative fuel categories (including electric and hybrid variants combined).

“However, pure electric registrations still only make up around 2% of the total number of new car sales.

“While they are cheap to run and most owners are keen to drive less-polluting cars, too many people who rely on their vehicles for work and leisure are holding off making the switch while there are question marks around the charging infrastructure and the initial outlay of moving to an EV.

“Now that we’re leaving the EU the Government can turn its attention back to domestic matters.

“Is now the time to introduce EV purchase subsidies to help consumers make the leap to electric?

“The ball is firmly in the Government’s court.”

The following table shows the 10 local authorities, including London, that have seen the fastest growth in ULEV registrations, 2019 vs 2018.

inc London

The following table shows the ten local authorities – excluding London boroughs – that have seen the fastest growth in ULEV registrations, 2019 vs 2018.

exc london

The table of shame, below, shows the bottom 10 local authorities:


The final table, below, shows the top five regions (excluding London) for ULEV ownership, 2019 vs 2018.

chart 2

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