THE number of electric cars in Barnsley last year rose by more than 50 per cent, new figures have revealed.

The government is aiming to entirely phase out petrol and diesel-powered cars by 2030, with battery-electric vehicles planned to account for all car sales by 2035.

Department for Transport figures show 888 battery-electric cars were registered in Barnsley at the end of last year - up from 582 the year before.

Across the UK, 629,000 battery-electric cars were licensed at the end of 2022 - up by 66 per cent from 379,000 at the end of 2021.

The AA said the numbers show ‘the appetite for electric vehicles is steadily growing’, adding improved charging infrastructure and more affordable price points could see the total number break the one million mark this year.

But Ian Plummer, commercial director at Auto Trader, said the online car marketplace has seen interest in brand-new electric vehicles drop by almost two thirds since the beginning of last year.

He said: “The uptake is positive and moving in the right direction, but it’s not where we need to be if we’re to meet the government’s admirable, but ambitious 2030 targets.”

He added ‘substantial measures to support the market’, such as cutting VAT on public chargers, should be introduced to further encourage buyers.

In Text Promo Image

“To reach the government’s goal, the focus needs to be on converting the masses and making EVs more accessible across different demographics,” he said.

The number of plug-in hybrids also rose during 2022, with 30 per cent more cars registered on the UK’s roads at the end of 2022 than the year before.

In Barnsley, 638 hybrid petrol and diesel cars were licensed - up from 446 in 2021.

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, added: “The growing number of vehicles that come with a plug shows that the appetite for electric vehicles is steadily growing.

“Continued growth in the public charging network, improved single-charge distances and more models available at more affordable price points could mean the number of battery electric cars breaks the one million mark this year.”

Barnsley Council is also doing their bit to reach the government targets, after they agreed to spend £5m on new vehicles, many of them electric - and a number of charging points have been created across the town.

The council will procure 102 vehicles, 29 of which may be electric.

Of the vehicles, 86 will replace existing ones, with 33 of these for use by Berneslai Homes.

The remaining 16 vehicles will add to the council’s fleet.

A report said: “The council already has a small electric vehicle charging infrastructure that can be utilised for additional electric vehicles.

“A final decision will be made on whether to replace the vehicles we have identified with EVs or ULEVs during the procurement process.

“The usage profile will be scrutinised, and estimated fuel and maintenance cost reduction will be evaluated against the additional purchase price and leasing cost.

“Additional capital expenditure will also be required for more charging points to support these additional vehicles.”