There are now over 100 different EV models on sale in Britain - the only problem is finding drivers who want to buy one

Britons now have the choice of more than 100 different electric car models for the first time, it has been confirmed.

The variety of different battery-powered vehicles in showrooms has grown by more than 500 per cent in the last decade, with only 16 electric variants on sale in the UK back in 2014.

However, the wider selection available to motorists comes at a period when public demand for EVs appears to have gone into reverse and manufacturers are desperately calling on government to intervene to provide incentives.

there are now over 100 different ev models on sale in britain - the only problem is finding drivers who want to buy one

There might be a much wider selection of EVs available to UK customers today than a decade ago but Britain's love affair with battery-powered cars is going through a rocky period

Drivers considering transitioning to an EV well ahead of the 2035 ban on sales of new internal combustion engine (ICE) cars are spoiled for choice.

The UK's automotive trade body states that almost a third (29.3 per cent) of models on the market in 2024 are electric.

Today, there is a total of 102 different EVs to choose from across every segment, from superminis to SUVs and sports cars, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) claims.

there are now over 100 different ev models on sale in britain - the only problem is finding drivers who want to buy one

The average range across all EVs on sale today is 236 miles; with the average daily mileage in the UK currently around 18 miles, drivers can - theoretically - use one for 13 days before the battery needle hits zero

there are now over 100 different ev models on sale in britain - the only problem is finding drivers who want to buy one

Wind the clocks back to 2014 and the choice of EVs was far more limited. In fact there were few low-emission models (including hybrids) a decade ago, with some fully-electric options not even capable of 100 miles per charge

This is a huge uplift of 538 per cent compared to 2014, when drivers had a comparatively limited choice due to the infancy of the technology.

Wind the clocks back 10 years and buyers were restricted to few options if they wanted to go electric. The best-sellers a decade ago included the following: Tesla Model S; Smart ForTwo and For Four Electric Drive; Mercedes-Benz B-Class ED; Nissan Leaf; Renault Zoe; BMW i3; Kia Soul EV; Mitsubishi i-MiEV; Citroen C-Zero; Peugeot iON; and Volkswagen's e-Golf and e-Up.

Many of the 2014 examples had incredibly limited ranges (the Smart couldn't even manage 100 miles on a full charge) but those on sale today can be used for almost a fortnight before they need to be charged.

The average range across all EVs on sale today is 236 miles; with the average daily mileage in the UK currently around 18 miles, drivers can - theoretically - use one for 13 days before the battery needle hits zero.

And the SMMT says this average range will rise closer to 300 miles by the end of the year, once new models arrive.

The longest-range examples can provide over 500 miles - though the EV that achieves this feat is incredibly expensive.

More choice than ever - but the public isn't exactly flocking to dealers to buy EVs

Unfortunately for manufacturers, their growing line-ups of electric cars comes at a time when demand from private buyers has seemingly hit a roadblock.

While EV registrations are ahead of last year by just over 10 per cent up to the end of April with 107,000 sold, the SMMT points out that just one in six are purchased by private buyers.

It's believed that appetite amongst the general public has taken a hit due to a combination of their premium price tags, ongoing range anxiety and the lack of public charging infrastructure.

Higher energy costs have also played a part in making EVs less appealing in the last 18 months, as has Rishi Sunak's decision to delay the ban on new petrols and diesel by five years to 2035.

there are now over 100 different ev models on sale in britain - the only problem is finding drivers who want to buy one

Battery electric vehicles (BEV) currently make up 15.7% share of all new car registrations in 2024. The slower than expected acceleration in EV uptake has forced the industry body to revise down its full-year forecast to less than 20%

there are now over 100 different ev models on sale in britain - the only problem is finding drivers who want to buy one

Under the ZEV mandate rules, major car makers need to sell a 22% share of EVs in 2024 - and an increasing share annually thereafter. Failure to meet these targets will result in hefty fines per vehicle below the threshold

Despite numerous calls from the automotive trade body and wider motor industry, the Government has remained steadfast in its position to not introduce fresh incentives to help boost sales to private buyers.

The SMMT wants ministers to remove VAT on new EV purchases, slash the 20 per cent taxation on public charging prices to 5 per cent, and delete the 'expensive car' Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) supplement for electric cars once they are forced to pay road tax from April 2025.

Ministers are reluctant to make the UK tax payer help cover the cost of EV purchases but is also aware of many drivers taking advantage of other avenues to run battery cars.

A huge jump in EV fleet registrations in recent years has been driven by the vast number of motorists taking advantage of lucrative tax-busting salary sacrifice schemes through their workplaces - though these are registered as fleet buyers and not private purchases.

Ministers are also relying on the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate to drive up sales, with manufacturers facing financial penalties if they fail to increase their share of electric car sales every year.

Manufacturers have already revised down their full-year forecasts for EV sales to below 20 per cent and the SMMT recently told the Commons' Transport Select Committee that many brands will fall short of this year's binding target of 22 per cent.

Yet, Department for Transport ministers are adamant all major car makers will avoid fines in 2024 if they take up other options available to them, including buying ZEV credits from dedicated EV makers (like Tesla and Polestar) or committing to increasing their share of EV sales in other years between now and 2035.

Mike Hawes, chief executive at the SMMT, said: 'Manufacturers are delivering on their promises to drive down emissions and bring ever more electric car choice to consumers.

'More than 100 models are now available across every segment – a six-fold increase on 10 years ago – showing the pace of change.

'The industry can only do so much on its own, however, and if we are to make EVs open to all and drive the net zero transformation we all need, further support is required.

'It’s time to reform taxes on these vehicles, to make public charging more affordable, quicken the pace of chargepoint rollout and, put to bed some of the myths about these crucial vehicles. They are the future and they’re available now.'

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