Together in electric dreams: How Fifers are backing green driving

The number of registered plug-in vehicles in Fife has increased. Pic: John Devlin.
The number of registered plug-in vehicles in Fife has increased. Pic: John Devlin.

Electric car technology is advancing rapidly, and the latest figures suggest that Fife is getting on board the green revolution.

From October 2017 to September 2018, the number of registered plug-in vehicles in the area increased by 34 per cent.

Fifers are getting on board the green revolution with more and more people buying electric cars. Pic: John Devlin.

Fifers are getting on board the green revolution with more and more people buying electric cars. Pic: John Devlin.

The latest Department for Transport statistics reveal the number of registered electric or plug-in hybrid cars, vans and micro cars, called quadricycles, in Fife for each quarter of the year and from July 2017 to September 2017 the figures showed there were 427 electric vehicles.

However by the latest quarter, from July to September 2018, that figure had grown to 574, a jump of 147.

But back in 2013, in Fife, there were just 48 electric cars, which shows the progress the industry has made in a short time.

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Reporter Debbie Clarke test driving an electric car. Pic:  FIFE PHOTO AGENCY.

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Chic Rennie, general manager at Arnold Clark’s Kia branch in Kirkcaldy, said electric cars had definitely become more popular with Fifers.

He said: “We’ve seen an increase in the number of people purchasing electric vehicles over the last few years.

“There are a number of benefits to buying an electric car – low to zero Co2 emissions, no petrol costs, a smooth and often quiet driving experience, no road tax and government grants.”

He added: “The new Kia Niro has proved to be a popular choice for customers with many enquiring about it. It will be able to travel 282 miles on a full charge.”

Over the past few years manufacturers have lowered their prices, helping fuel the rise in environmentally friendly vehicles.

The latest Nissan Leaf, the UK’s most popular entirely electric car, can now travel 235 miles before it needs to be recharged.

Over the next year BP will install charging points at its petrol stations, following Shell’s roll out in 2017.

However, plug-in vehicles still make up a tiny percentage of the cars on the road in Fife. Compared with the 574 electric cars on our roads, there are 196,359 cars and vans in total, according to the latest complete vehicle registration data from 2017.

Behind the wheel ...

I had the opportunity to test drive an electric vehicle a few years ago and was quite impressed, writes Debbie Clarke.

The Nissan Leaf is a nice looking car and I loved the smoothness of the drive.

The interior was also impressive with a dashboard that looked very futuristic.

They are also cheap to run and with zero exhaust emissions, you are helping to improve air quality.