DESPITE car dealer closures across England, interest in electric vehicles has jumped almost 20 per cent in 2020.

And Taunton had the biggest increase in searches for electric vehicles last year, according to new analysis by AA Cars.

AA Cars found searches on its platform for electric vehicles increased by 18.85 per cent in 2020 compared with 2019, with demand expected to increase by a further 42 per cent in 2021.

London saw the highest number of searches, which is perhaps unsurprising given its large population and the extension of the Ultra Low Emission Zone. This was followed by Bristol, which will be implementing its own low-emission zone soon.

However, when the figures are adjusted for population, Walsall comes out on top, with 668 searches per 100,000 people. It’s followed by Stockton-on-Tees (490), Nottingham (417) Newcastle-upon-Tyne (379) and Cambridge (354).

Meanwhile, Taunton in Somerset had the biggest increase in searches last year, up an incredible 1,395 per cent, indicating that EVs are also becoming more appealing to those in rural areas.

James Fairclough, CEO of AA Cars, said: “Interest in EVs and environmentally friendly vehicles has been growing at pace over recent years and has accelerated further still during the pandemic.

“The good news for drivers taking their first steps towards buying an EV is that there is an ever-growing fleet of electric cars coming onto the secondhand market.

“It means there is more choice than ever before, and many affordable models available, with prices significantly lower than the cost of buying a brand new EV.”

The secondhand EV market is being bolstered by increasing sales in the new market. So far this year, more than 18,000 pure electric vehicles have been sold, up 74 per cent on the same period in 2020. However, this still only accounts for a 7.5 per cent market share.