Electric vehicle revolution 'is underway'

New research suggests that the electric car revolution is finally happening, with numbers of the greener vehicles on the road set to hit two million by the end of this year.

A new report on electric vehicles by Transport & Environment found the biggest market is China but the number of plug-in cars in Europe doubled to 145,000 last year.

Transport & environment’s Greg Archer said: “It is still very small, but what we have seen over the past few months is a complete culture change.”

Electric cars remain more expensive than conventional vehicles, so if you are considering stocking them in your showroom, the higher value of your stock should be reflected in your motor trade insurance.

The British-produced Nissan Leaf was the bestselling electric vehicle in the first half of this year, according to a report by EV Volumes. The Tesla Model S, which is more expensive, took second place in the list.

The Paris Motor Show earlier this month provided a great showcase for the alternative vehicles. Car maker VW said it intended to have 30 all-electric vehicles available and on the road within the next decade.

Key to the expansion of the market is the cost of the vehicles and their driving ranges between charges. Costs are falling and improvements to batteries mean that they can be driven further and for longer.

Mr Archer said: “Above all we have seen the price of batteries fall and fall.

“It is very clear that electric vehicles are going to be seriously competitive to conventional vehicles. The revolution is underway and Europe is well-placed to take a leading position.”