DRIVERS appear to be getting on board with the green revolution in Oxfordshire after new figures have shown a large rise in the number of electric vehicles on the county's streets.

Department for Transport statistics show that 3,465 ultra-low emission vehicles were licensed in Oxfordshire at the end of September – 41 per cent more than at the same point a year earlier.

The figures include battery electric, hybrid, and fuel cell electric vehicles.

In Oxford specifically, the number of more environmentally-friendly vehicles rose by 559, or 29 per cent, in the same period.

READ ALSO: Oxford is 'top' for electric vehicles

South Oxfordshire saw an increase of 49 per cent (866 vehicles), with 46 per cent in Cherwell (1,043 vehicles), 40 per cent in the Vale of White Horse (574 vehicles) and 39 per cent in West Oxfordshire - a rise of 423 vehicles.

Across the UK, 247,000 such vehicles were licensed at the end of September – a 33 per cent rise on the previous year.

They include 70,000 which were registered in the last year – just 2.4 per cent of 3 million new vehicles overall.

But with the eco-friendly motors still making up a small share of the market, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has called for measures to drive up their use.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said the industry was committed to zero-emission transport, but urged the Government to encourage uptake.

“Ambition must be matched by a world-class package of initiatives that encourage investment and innovation and allow manufacturers to sell competitively,” he added.

READ ALSO: Electric car charging points pilot in Oxford: The results

“This includes long-term government commitment to incentives and substantial investment in infrastructure.”

In 2018, the Government announced its ambition for at least half of new cars to be ultra-low emission by 2030.

But later in the year, it announced cuts to subsidies for green vehicles, scrapping a £2,500 grant for plug-in hybrids and slashing one for fully electric vehicles from £4,500 to £3,500.

A DfT spokeswoman said: “Between April 2015 and July 2019, the number of new registered ultra-low emission vehicles has increased four-fold, with more than 228,000 now on UK roads, 180,000 more than in 2015.

“Last year, battery vehicles more than doubled and we’re doubling our efforts to make owning an electric vehicle the new normal.”

In July, insurers Admiral said Oxford had the highest percentage of pure electric cars in the UK, outside of London.

Its report said of all electric car models (both battery-only and hybrid) registered in Oxford, 36 per cent of them are powered purely on electricity.