28 Feb 2024

15 times the choice, three times the range: EV progress since 2011

The SMMT used its annual Test Day driving event, held at Millbrook Proving Ground near Bedford, to highlight the progress made on EV availability and range over the last 10 years, during which time a 15-fold increase in choice of model has unfolded, with many of these cars having more than three times the range of vehicles from a decade ago.

33 manufacturers demonstrating more than 100 models today (Tuesday 26 June), including 42 plug-in electric models on the circuit. Hundreds of media guests tested the performance, safety and technology features of cars, vans, pick-ups and taxis. They will saw the massive increases in electric vehicle battery technology, with the vehicles on display averaging 257 miles on a single charge, more than treble the 74 mile average available at Test Day in 2011.

SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said: “The ever-increasing number of electric vehicle models launched by manufacturers since 2011 shows just how far Britain has come, with industry investment stimulating innovation at an ever-faster rate. With almost 200 electrified models expected to be available by the end of the year, manufacturers are turning ambitions for zero and ultra-low emission mobility into a reality, while motorists’ demand for these vehicles increases month by month.”

The government’s EV infrastructure strategy, published in March is crucial to keep EV momentum rolling, as Mike observed: “To turn this nascent demand into a mass market, however, motorists need choice, affordability and the confidence to charge. The UK has an ambitious timescale to deliver net zero and road transport must shoulder the biggest burden delivering that goal. The industry is up for the challenge but we need all stakeholders, including government, charge point providers and energy companies, to match manufacturers’ commitment by providing the competitive incentives and infrastructure that assures a zero-emission future.”

At the time of the launch of Britain’s first mass-produced battery electric vehicle, the Nissan LEAF, in 2011, just nine plug-in car models were available in the UK – making up less than one in 1,000 total registrations. Today, there are more than 140 plug-in models available, accounting for around one in five new cars sold this year, with a further 50 models expected to be launched by the end of 2022.