Electric car sales have doubled in the last two years, according to the UK’s National Electric Vehicle Association.
The figure is likely to increase further this year, the association said on Tuesday, adding that it expects a rise in demand for the vehicles as the world begins to embrace the technology.
Electric vehicles are more expensive than gas-powered cars and are expected to account for one in three new car purchases in 2020, up from just one in five in 2015.
But they’re still not widely used, largely because the batteries are not large enough to provide reliable energy for the cars, nor are they powerful enough to keep up with a driver’s needs.
There are also concerns about their environmental impact.
In 2017, the US Department of Energy released an updated report on electric vehicle emissions that said the technology is “on track” to meet the Paris Agreement targets for reducing carbon emissions from existing vehicles.
However, the report noted that there are “substantial concerns” about the environmental impact of electric vehicles, particularly from the potential for emissions from batteries to be released into the environment, or into the air.
Read more: Electric car manufacturers, such as Tesla, have been criticised by environmentalists for not using electric cars as much as conventional cars, while some automakers have been accused of not adequately testing their vehicles to ensure they meet the new standards.
Tesla has been criticised for being slow to adopt electric cars, and not having enough battery capacity to meet demand, while Mercedes-Benz has struggled to meet its targets, while BMW has yet to deliver electric vehicles.
In 2020, the government said it will invest an extra £5bn in the electrification of existing and new cars, with an aim to deliver 80 per cent of all new cars by 2030.
It also plans to spend an extra $4.7bn on electric cars and trucks by 2030, according the UK Transport Agency.
While the government expects electric cars to continue to drive demand in the coming years, it expects more than half of those sales to be in the US, with more than 10 per cent in Europe.
British carmakers Tesla, Ford and BMW have all been accused by environmental groups of not using the technology to the extent required by the Paris agreement, with the British government saying they have “failed to deliver on the targets”.
“The UK government will now commit an extra additional £4.4bn for the electric vehicle industry by 2030 and will support the development of new technology that will make electric cars more efficient and less polluting,” a spokeswoman for the Department for Transport said.
“This will mean a new generation of electric cars with greater battery capacity, as well as greater energy efficiency, which will provide a more sustainable and attractive vehicle choice for consumers in the UK.”
The government also said it was investing £1.5bn over three years in electric cars in the form of grants, research and development, and a new electric fleet vehicle programme.
Britain has been trying to ramp up electric vehicle adoption in recent years, with a series of schemes designed to boost demand and reduce emissions.
Earlier this year the government announced it would invest an additional £1bn into electric cars from 2020, which it expects to see doubled by 2025.
Its government also announced plans to double the number of electric buses in the next three years.
Despite the government’s enthusiasm for electric cars it said that the US is not on track to meet climate targets and that the world will still need to develop cleaner sources of energy.