Select's Electric roundup covers all the latest news from the fast-moving world of electric. This month, we take a look at the biggest stories for March as EV sales continue their electrifying 2020 and CO2 emissions reach record lows in the UK. Plus, we cover the resurgence of the Renault Zoe in Europe and take a look at the supermarkets leading the line in public charging.
Shoots of green as EV sales skyrocket
Registrations of alternative fuel vehicles continue to soar in the latest data released by the SMMT, with battery electric vehicles (BEVs) accounting for the biggest year on year increase of over 200%. February’s statistics follow on from a best-ever January for the EV market and appear to signal the growing clout electric cars hold.
Hybrid vehicles also continue to surge in popularity with PHEVs up by almost 50% Year-on-Year, while the growing number of manufacturers turning to the production of MHEV’s saw 'Mild Hybrid's' across both Petrol and Diesels grow by more than 500%.
In contrast, the sales of petrol and diesels continue to flounder with diesels taking the brunt of a change in public opinion. A torrid 2020 for Diesel sales continues, down already 30% for 2020.
CO2 emissions hit lowest point since 1800s
New stats show the UK has taken a major leap in its efforts to reduce carbon emissions in the country. In research conducted by Carbon Brief and published in the Financial Times, the UK’s emissions in 2019 hit their lowest point since 1888.
Emissions have shown a stark decline since 2010, when tighter measures were introduced to help the UK fall in line with other countries such as Germany and France which had already begun to lower CO2 emissions before the turn of the decade.
CO2 emissions were down to 361 million tonnes – the sixth consecutive year of reduction and 39% lower than readings given in 1990.
As the UK begins to phase out coal power the growth in renewables continues to grow at a staggering rate. Wind and solar energy usage increased to a record high of 33%. In contrast, coal usage accounted for under 5% of the UK’s total power generation.
UK charging infrastructure soars
The UK’s network of charging infrastructure continues to increase, with new stats from Zap-Map showing that total charge points hit record highs of over 31,000 in March 2020. Charge points are now in place at more than 11,000 locations up and down the UK with over half of these falling into the ‘Rapid Charging’ category to cater for the growing number of EVs equipped with larger, more advanced battery technology.
Renault Zoe gets new lease of life
Renault Zoe electric car sales surge, becoming one of the brand’s best-selling cars
The Renault Zoe, the French brand’s first all-electric model, is enjoying a major resurgence across Europe, with more than 10,000 units shipped in the month of February alone.
Having been in production since 2015 and with its sales limited to Europe, experts had expected the sales of the Zoe to drop off significantly, but its February figures buck that trend with an almost 140% increase on this time year. Data produced by Electrek revealed the Zoe has surpassed many of the brands other successful models and was only beaten for sales by the Clio in February.
The Zoe has now sold almost a quarter of a million units across the UK.
Supermarkets lead EV charge
The UK’s supermarkets continue to lead the line when it comes to charging infrastructure, with the number of EV points at stores doubling in 24 months.
AutoExpress reports that there was a 95% increase in charging points at supermarkets between late 2017 and the end of 2019. The jump will be warmly welcomed by EV advocates, with the ever-growing UK charging infrastructure viewed as a major boon for drivers contemplating making the switch.
Of all the supermarkets offering public charging, ASDA held the greatest proportion – with charging points available at almost 20% of all stores. Morrisons were the next best offering with around 18%, with Sainsburys providing chargers at 6% of their UK locations.