New figures today show a 3.9 per cent increase in the sale of electric, hybrid and hybrid plug-in cars in September compared with the same month last year, underlining the growing demand in the market – and the need for a truly, national visible charging network to enable growth in electric vehicle sales to continue in particular, as outlined in the UK’s first-ever National Infrastructure Assessment.

Car sales figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that overall car sales in September were down 20.5 per cent – including a 6.7 per cent decrease in sales of petrol-run vehicles, and a 42.5 per cent fall in diesel cars.

Sales of electric, hybrid and hybrid plug-in cars were up 3.9 per cent, and now represent 7 per cent of the overall market.

The National Infrastructure Assessment, published in July, made recommendations to improve the charging infrastructure to allow customer demand to reach close to 100 per cent electric new car and van sales by 2030 and ensure the country secures the full benefits that this new technology can bring.

This includes that by 2022, the Government should subsidise the provision of rapid charging points where the market will not deliver in the short term; and that councils should allocate a portion of parking spaces, including on-street parking spaces, to being converted to electric vehicle charge points.

Responding to today’s figures, a National Infrastructure Commission spokesman said:

“While overall car sales are down, these latest sales figures show that drivers are increasingly switching from petrol and diesel to electric, highlighting the need for our infrastructure to keep up.

“Through the UK’s first-ever National Infrastructure Assessment we recommend steps that would create a truly national, visible network, to support up to 100 per cent electric new car sales as early as 2030.

“They include that Government subsidise rapid chargers where the private sector won’t provide them in the short term, and that councils allocate a portion of their parking spaces – including on-street parking – as suitable for electric vehicle charge point installation.”

The recommendations in the National Infrastructure Assessment for creating a truly national, visible charging network can be found here.