The electric car industry has grown massively in St Albans over the past five years, latest government figures have revealed.

Herts Advertiser: The electric car charging points at St Albans stationThe electric car charging points at St Albans station (Image: Archant)

Newly-released data from the Department for Transport shows that the number of electric vehicles in St Albans has grown from 269 in the first quarter of 2017, to 409 in the first quarter of this year; a jump of 140 vehicles. The number of registered plug-in vehicles has also increased by 52 per cent over the 2017-2018 financial year.

In 2013 there were just six electric cars in St Albans in total, showing how fast the electric car industry has grown over the last few years.

The increase in sales can be attributed to advances in technology and the output of high-performance, low-price motor vehicles.

Industry professional Chris Howells, electric vehicle business development manager for the Glyn Hopkin Nissan dealership in St Albans, highlighted the constant improvement of the car over the years to include more efficient batteries and increased miles.

Herts Advertiser: Two electric car charging points at St Albans stationTwo electric car charging points at St Albans station (Image: Archant)

Chris is confident of further growth due to high carbon emissions in commuter towns, with levels in St Albans reaching reaching 4.3 tonnes in 2015, as councils, local businesses and other organisations embrace the green revolution.

He said: “The majority of councils across the UK have got a very real problem with high, or in some cases dangerously high carbon emission problems, so it’s in their interest to be seen to be doing something about it. I feel it is everyone’s responsibility to make a difference to the environment that we live in.”

St Albans Green Party councillor Simon Grover praised the increase in electric car usage, but argued that the government’s efforts to facilitate the switch from petrol to renewables has been “slow” and “not adequate”.

Cllr Grover said if the government wanted to make a lasting environmental impact, they should create a more stringent tax system, which adequately taxes cars using non-renewable resources as fuel, and subsidises those cars which run on renewables.

Equally, he argued that roads in the future should not be dominated solely by electric cars, but more so by public transport options which use similar renewable resources, and this should be encouraged above individual electric cars by government officials.

“Electric cars are not the answer, but part of it,” he added.

But it isn’t all good news - plans to force all taxis registered in St Albans to be fully electric in the next five years were scrapped last summer following opposition from drivers.