More electric cars registered in Sunderland

More drivers in Sunderland are going green as the number of electric vehicles registered in the area surged last year, new figures show.

Monday, 17th May 2021, 4:25 pm
Electric car debate
Electric car debate

Department for Transport statistics show 503 low emission vehicles were licensed in the city at the end of last year – 123 more than at the end of 2019, when there were 380.

The figures include battery, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell electric vehicles – with 73 registered to private keepers.

In Sunderland 309 of the vehicles were battery electric powered – with a further 174 being plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, which combine an electric motor with a petrol or diesel engine.

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Overall, the vehicles still only accounted for around 0.4% of all vehicles licensed in the area – below the UK average of 1.1%.

The Government has committed to ending the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030 but, in March, cut grants for electric car buyers from £3,000 to £2,500.

Labour say the Government has do do more to encourage electric car sales.

Kerry McCarthy, shadow minister for green transport, said: "Increases in electric vehicle sales are always welcome but, rather than encouraging this trend, the Government seems to be doing all it can to stifle progress by slashing subsidies to electric vehicles and failing to set out a roadmap to smoothly transition away from petrol and diesel.

Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said: “More people are moving away from diesel cars. With £2.8bn in government support to encourage their take-up, there has never been a better time to switch to an electric vehicle.”