Number of electric vehicles surge in Bedford

Companies are behind the rise

Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 11:32 am

There was a surge in the number of electric vehicles registered in Bedford last year, figures suggest – although the trend was driven mainly by companies.

The Labour Party says the Government needs to do more to make eco-friendly cars more affordable for families across the UK.

Department for Transport (DfT) statistics show 996 ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) were licensed in Bedford at the end of last year – 419 more than at the end of 2019, when there were 577.

Department for Transport statistics show 996 ultra-low emission vehicles were licensed in Bedford at the end of last year

The figures include battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and fuel cell electric vehicles.

But of the additions, 275 were registered to the addresses of nearby firms.

The DfT said a vehicle’s address does not necessarily reflect where it is located, especially for large fleets kept by companies for leasing or rentals.

It added that significant changes in the number of vehicles from year to year can happen when companies change their registered address.

Overall, ULEVs still only accounted for around 0.8 per cent of all vehicles licensed in Bedford at the end of 2020 – just below the UK average of 1.1 per cent.

The Government has committed to ending the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, and ensuring all new sales are “zero emissions at the tailpipe” by 2035.

In March, Bedford Today revealed how electric vehicle charging points were being installed in five streets in the townThere are at Russell Avenue, Oaklands Road, Cutcliffe Grove, Park Road West and Victoria Road - specifically to help residents without driveways.

In Bedford, 443 of the ULEVs licensed at the end of the year were battery electric vehicles – defined as zero emission.

A further 498 were plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, which combine an electric motor with a petrol or diesel engine.

Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said that more alternative fuel cars were registered across Great Britain for the first time last year, although this includes some types of hybrid vehicles not classed as ULEVs.

“This is proof that more people are moving away from diesel cars, as we build back greener and clean up the air in our towns and cities,” she added.

“With £2.8 billion of government support to encourage their take-up, there has never been a better time to switch to an electric vehicle.”