Demand for electric cars hits record high

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Renault Zoe

Electric car sales hit a new record high in the UK earlier this year, recently released government figures have revealed.

According to the figures, 1,149 new cars registered in the third quarter of 2013 benefited from the government's £5,000 electric car grant.


The figure represents a 25 per cent increase over the previous quarter's record of 920, and is the highest in the scheme's history.

What's more, trends from the previous two years suggest that that number could be equalled, or even bettered, in the final quarter of the year.

However, in spite of the figures, Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, says that his company will fail to reach electric car targets that it had previously set.

Renault-Nissan had hoped to sell 1.5 million electric vehicles by 2016, but Ghosn now says that he doesn't envisage the conglomerate hitting that target until 2020 at the earliest.

He cited a lack of charging points as the main barrier to higher electric car sales, telling the Financial Times: "We have to admit, it is slower than we thought. But it is slower for the reason that we thought infrastructure building would be faster. It is not."

The corporation's Nissan Leaf was the first car to be eligible for the government grant, but has since been joined in the electric car market by a handful of models from other mainstream manufacturers, including the Renault Zoe, the BMW i3, and the Vauxhall Ampera and Chevrolet Volt twins.