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The north/south divide

Electric vehicle ownership increases by up to +150% in southern cities, but as little as 11% in the north over the last three years.

  • Registration of electric cars in UK up by 95% on average between 2016 and 2018
  • Cardiff is the city with the highest increase in electric vehicles, Bradford has seen the lowest
  • The variation in charging points between cities could explain the difference in uptake of EVs

The UK’s electric vehicle (EV) uptake is rising, but the growth isn’t evenly distributed across the country, with cities in the south surpassing those in the north. Car insurance expert, Admiral has looked at data from over 50 UK towns and cities to see which areas have seen the biggest increases in EV registrations.

The cities which saw the greatest rise in EV registrations between 2016 – 2018 (for pure electric cars and hybrids alike) were Cardiff (156%), Oxford (155%) and Bristol (154%). In comparison, the cities with the lowest growth in EVs were all found in the north with Bradford (11% increase over the same period), Blackburn (41%) and Warrington (46%) coming bottom of the table.

On average, southern cities have seen a 108% increase in EVs over the past three years. Those in the Midlands increased by 87%, while the increase in EV registrations for northern cities as lower still, at an average of 78%.

When looking at all electric cars registered, Admiral’s study found which UK cities currently have the highest percentage of cars running purely on electricity in comparison to hybrid models. Breaking this down regionally, findings reveal that the cities with the most pure EVs on the road are also located in the south of England, with London and Oxford topping the list.