Car makers treble battery range and deliver 15-fold increase in model choice in a decade – London Business News

Average battery range of vehicles at annual SMMT Test Day grows from 74 miles to almost 260 miles during Britain’s first ‘electric decade’.

Industry confirms commitment to zero-emission motoring, from hatchbacks to supercars, as more than 40% of models on the market now come with a plug.

SMMT Test Day reflects EV model choice with two in five cars on the track running on a battery or plug-in hybrid powertrain, alongside electric vans, pick-ups, taxis and trucks.

Millbrook Proving Ground, Bedford, Tuesday 26 April, 2022 Massive investment by car makers since 2011 means today’s electric vehicle buyers can benefit from a 15-fold increase in choice of model, as well as, on average, more than three times the battery range compared with a decade ago, according to new research by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

At the time of the launch of Britain’s first mass-produced battery electric vehicle, the Nissan LEAF, in 2011, just nine plug-in car models were available in the UK – making up less than one in 1,000 total registrations.1 Today, there are more than 140 plug-in models available, accounting for around one in five new cars sold this year, with a further 50 models expected to be launched by the end of 2022.

SMMT will show this wide range of choice at its annual Test Day driving event on Tuesday, with 33 manufacturers demonstrating more than 100 models at Millbrook Proving Ground, including 42 plug-in electric models on the circuit.3 Hundreds of media guests will test the high-level performance, safety and technology features of the latest cars, vans, pick-ups and taxis. They will also get first-hand experience of the dramatic improvements in electric vehicle battery technology, with the battery electric vehicles on display averaging 257 miles on a single charge – more than treble the average of 74 miles available at Test Day in 2011.

This increased range is a direct result of the automotive industry’s ingenuity and investment – and the trend will continue, with all of Britain’s leading car manufacturers and importers committed to decarbonising their model line-ups, whether hatchbacks, SUVs or hypercars, with a further 150 new and updated plug-ins due to be delivered to the UK market by 2025.

Newly introduced for SMMT Test Day 2022 is the Working Vehicle Zone, where 15 trucks will be tested – almost half of them zero-emission – having undergone significant technological advancements during the last decade.5 These larger, heavier vehicles are vital to the UK economy and its green transition, with similar timescales to electric cars and vans, in spite of their highly complex mechanical and infrastructural challenges. However, truck manufacturers are already providing innovative solutions, with mammoth battery and plug-in hybrid powertrains, hydrogen fuel cell and quick-charging capability to meet their varied transportation uses.

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