UK statistics reveal more than half-a-million ultra-low emission vehicles are now being driven on roads across Britain.

The news comes as figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show 13.6% of new cars sold in the past four months had a plug, with ultra-low emission cars accounting for more than one in ten sales in 2020, up from one in 30 the year before.

The UK government is committing to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 and to ensure all new cars and vans will be zero emissions at the tailpipe by 2035.

“As hosts of COP26, we want to drive decarbonisation on the global stage, which is why we’re going further and faster to make the journeys of our future as clean as possible,” said British Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps.

“With news the half-a-million milestone has now been met, together with the UK now having the second largest EV market in Europe, it’s clear the shift to green motoring is accelerating at speed.”

The government has pledged a GBP2.8bn (US$3.9bn) package of measures to support industry and drivers to make the switch to cleaner vehicles.

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The DfT says significant number of EV models have seen price reductions in recent months, as more people make the switch to ultra-low emission vehicles.

More affordable batteries also mean manufacturers have been able to increase the range of these vehicles, with many EVs now able to drive more than 200 or even 300 miles on a charge.

Today, a driver is never more than 25 miles away from a rapid chargepoint anywhere along England’s motorways and major A roads. And the UK already has a network of more than 23,000 public chargepoints, with more fast chargepoints per 100 miles of key road than any other European country, maintains the DfT.

The government has committed to provide GBP1.3bn during the next four years, from the wider supportive package, to encourage the continued roll-out of chargepoints on motorways and major A roads, in homes and businesses and on-street.

“The automotive sector is transforming the way we drive, investing billions in ever greener and cleaner vehicles across the range, with one in four available models now capable of being ‘plugged in,'” added SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes.