February 15, 2023
Electric and Hybrid News
When it comes to their cars, many drivers show their vehicles plenty of love all year round. However, some vehicle owners give their cars the cold shoulder by registering them with a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) and officially marking the motor as off the road.
Wessex Fleet has taken this opportunity to investigate which electric vehicles (EVs), in particular, are the least and most loved by UK drivers, by how many are on the road and how many have been SORNed.
The Nissan Leaf is the Most SORNed EV in the UK
In order to determine which electric cars are the “least loved” by UK drivers, we analysed a range of factors including the overall number of SORNed models, the number of licensed models out on UK roads, and the percentage of total SORNed electric cars. This information was collected via the Department for Transport data.
When reviewing which EV models had been SORNed the most, the overwhelming “winner” was the Nissan Leaf with a total of 701. This may be a bit of a shock to EV aficionados, as the Leaf was at one point the world’s bestselling plug-in electric car.
A former World Car of the Year winner and one of the first real all-electric options on the market, it may well be a case of other EV models surpassing the Leaf for popularity, and thus its owners have decided to park it on the sidelines instead. It could also be the case that rapid improvement in EV tech has been one of the major causes of these vehicles being pushed to the side. Many of the SORNed vehicles are also likely to be earlier models rather than recent examples.
In the aforementioned bestselling stakes, it was the Tesla Model 3 that surpassed the Leaf for the top spot in early 2020, and that’s actually the model that has the second-highest number of overall SORNs in the UK at 349.
Rounding out the top three most SORNed EVs is the BMW i3, with 177 being declared as off the road. A premium brand with a strong reputation, i3 owners likely won’t want to keep their car on the sidelines for too long as it is consistently reviewed as being one of the best EVs around, earning particular praise for its innovation, style and quality.
For the rest of the top ten, Tesla features twice more in the form of the Model S (124 SORNed) and the Model X (105 SORNed), while Renault appears twice with the Zoe (150 SORNed) and Twizy (114 SORNed).
The Twizy is a particularly interesting case, as the two-seat electric microcar has a particularly high SORN rate, with 114 being declared off the road compared to 497 licensed to drive. The novelty of it has appeared to wear off, as it’s pretty impractical for use on a daily basis with a maximum speed of just 28 mph and very limited internal space.
Most SORNed EVs
% of Total SORNed Electric Cars
1. Nissan Leaf
2. Tesla Model 3
3. BMW i3
4. Renault Zoe
5. Porsche Taycan
6. Jaguar I-Pace
7. Tesla Model S
8. Volvo XC40
9. Renault Twizy
10. Tesla Model X
Kia’s EV6 is the Most Loved EV, with 0 Being SORNed
Kia’s EV6 actually has a perfect record in terms of the percentage of vehicles that are SORNd, with 0 being declared off the road compared to 4,546 currently on UK roads.
It revels in its role as the most loved EV in the UK with none of its owners giving it SORN status. The EV6 is an impressive model in fairness, winning Whatcar’s Car of the Year award in 2022 after arriving on the scene in late 2021.
The BMW i4, DS 3 and Mercedes-Benz EQS all have only 2 SORN status’ each from UK drivers, while SEAT, Polestar, Volkswagen and Vauxhall all have models with SORNed vehicles in single figures.
Most Loved EVs
1. Kia EV6
2. BMW i4
3. DS 3
4. Mercedes EQS Class
5. SEAT MII EV
6. Polestar 2
7. Volkswagen E-UP
8. Vauxhall Mokka EV
9. BMW iX3
10. BMW iX
Nissan and Tesla are the Brands with the Most SORNed EVs
When looking at the total SORNed EVs for each major car manufacturer, it’s Nissan and Tesla that take the top two spots here too, with 701 and 624 cars taken off the road respectively.
French manufacturer Renault’s combination of the all-electric Zoe and Twizy models sees them take a probably unwanted third place overall, with 264 of their cars being given SORN status.
Volvo is a noteworthy inclusion in the below top ten list due to the percentage of vehicles SORNed being at a much higher level than their counterparts. 4.32% of all Volvo all-electric models are currently SORNed, which certainly isn’t something to shout about.
Brands with the Most SORNed EVs
% of Total SORNed Electric Cars
Tesla’s Model 3 is the Most Popular, with Over 76k Currently on UK Roads
In terms of the most popular EVs that are currently out on UK roads, the clear market leader at the moment is the Tesla Model 3, with 76,688.
It’s no surprise that the electric car juggernaut of Tesla takes the top spot, since it is amongst the most bought EV models around the world. The technology that’s included in the Model 3 quite simply blows older EVs like the original Leaf out of the water, showing how far electric cars have come since the early days over a decade ago.
The Leaf still remains popular even after being overtaken, though some EV experts suggest that it may be phased out. There are still 49,645 Leaf models out on UK roads, though, suggesting there’s life in the old dog yet.
The fully electric Kia Niro EV hasn’t been available for too long, but it’s become popular in a flash, with 28,406 licensed vehicles on the UK roads already, which is the third most of any all-electric car.
Keep an eye out for Tesla’s Model Y, which has actually outperformed the Model 3 in many countries and this trend is likely to continue in the UK.
Most Popular EVs on UK Roads
1. Tesla Model 3
2. Nissan Leaf
3. Kia Niro EV
4. BMW i3
5. Renault Zoe
6. Volkswagen ID3
7. Jaguar I-Pace
8. Tesla Model Y
9. Audi e-tron
10. Hyundai Kona
How to Go the Distance with Your EV: Tips for Prolonging Its Life
It’s extremely important if you are an EV owner to ensure your car gets the tender love and care that it needs to extend its lifespan. Some tips to follow to keep your EV in better condition for longer are:
1. Only Charge Up to Full for Really Long Trips
If you are travelling away on a UK city break or are heading hundreds of miles on a work trip, charging your EV battery up to 100% makes sense. But if you’re taking much shorter trips, charging to 100% can on a regular basis can actually be harmful to your car and its battery pack specifically.
2. Try to Keep the Battery Power Between 20% and 80%
Following on from step one, it’s been recommended by EV experts not to let your electric car’s battery fall below 20% or go beyond 80% (apart from the aforementioned long trips). This is in order to prevent a negative impact on the car’s battery health.
3. Don’t Use Rapid Chargers All of the Time
Rapid chargers can also affect the battery health of an EV if they are used on a regular basis. If time allows, it’s better to use slow chargers for most of your car’s charging, as they are much easier on the battery itself.
4. Keep Your EV Running
Electric vehicles need to be running regularly in order to remain in top condition. If they are kept in the garage or by the side of the road for days and weeks on end, the battery won’t live up to its full potential and it could harm the long-term health of your car. Make sure to take short, regular trips to avoid this.
5. Protect the Car from Extreme Weather Conditions
If it’s a particularly warm day, try to keep your car out of direct sunlight if you can in order to keep the battery cooler. Similarly, if it gets too cold in winter, the freeze can negatively impact a car’s battery range and longevity too. Therefore, keep it in a garage if you can.
6. Avoid Heavy Acceleration When Driving
EVs, and their range specifically, don’t take too kindly to erratic driving, and any abrupt acceleration or braking will drain the battery quickly, resulting in fewer miles between charges. Therefore, driving at a moderate pace under reasonable driving conditions prevents discharging of the battery.
For the purpose of this study, information was collected via Department for Transport data, looking at the number of licensed vehicles for each all-electric car model, as well as the number of vehicles with SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) status.
We then analysed the data to determine which EVs have been discarded and declared off the road the most, as well as which have the most licensed vehicles currently being driven in the UK.
This data is the latest available from the Department for Transport, and is accurate from the end of September 2022 (Q3).
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