Greater Manchester’s 300+ charging points for electric vehicles were used nearly three times more in 2015 than a year earlier, according to new figures.
The data comes from the Greater Manchester Electric Vehicle Scheme (GMEV), which is led by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).
Over 28,700 charging sessions took place in 2015, compared to just 10,174 in 2014. Those sessions drew more than 250,000kWh of power – enough to fully charge a 21kWh electric car battery 11,000 times, and travel 880,000 miles.
The number of new drivers registered with GMEV has also increased from 48 when the scheme launched in 2013, to nearly 1,000.
Dave Newton, transport strategy director at TfGM, said: “It’s great to see that the GMEV scheme is growing ever more successful, with charging sessions almost trebling and registrations surging over the past year.
“There are so many benefits to using electric or hybrid vehicles in cities and towns. These low emission vehicles are cleaner and quieter than ordinary cars – improving air quality, reducing noise pollution and lowering carbon emissions.
“Crucially, electric vehicles are also cheaper to run, so they can be a great option for commuters and for business vehicle fleets. That’s why we’ll continue to work with the government and with industry to ensure that Greater Manchester has a strong electric vehicle infrastructure.”
The £2.1m GMEV scheme was funded by the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and from local funding streams. It also has private sector partners including NCP, Manchester Central, Manchester Metropolitan University, Salford University and intu Trafford Centre, who provide their own charging points to supplement the network.
The rocketing demand in Greater Manchester mirrors growth across the UK, with recent figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showing that the number of cars on the road eligible for the Government’s Plug-in Car Grant scheme nearly doubled in 2015.
In December 2015, the Government announced a long-term extension to the grant scheme, which guarantees the grant until at least March 2018.
From March 2016, buyers of ultra-low emission vehicles will be eligible for one-off grants of up to £4,500. The Government will also continue to provide a grant to help vehicle owners install a charging point at their home.