The number of electric cars being driven around the streets of Tendring at the end of last year rose by more than 50 per cent, new figures show.

The Government is aiming to entirely phase out petrol and diesel-powered cars by 2030, with battery-electric vehicles planned to account for all car sales by 2035.

The AA said the numbers show "the appetite for electric vehicles is steadily growing", adding improved charging infrastructure and more affordable price points could see the total number break the 1 million mark this year.

But a senior figure at Auto Trader said the uptake is not sufficient to meet the Government's "admirable but ambitious 2030 targets," and called on support for the market to further increase electric car adoption.

Department for Transport figures show 599 battery-electric cars were registered in Tendring at the end of last year – up from 366 the year before.

Across the UK, 629,000 battery-electric cars were licensed at the end of 2022 – up by 66% from 379,000 at the end of 2021.

But Ian Plummer, commercial director at Auto Trader, said the online car marketplace has seen interest in brand-new electric vehicles drop by almost two thirds since the beginning of last year.

Mr Plummer said: "The uptake is positive and moving in the right direction, but it’s not where we need to be if we’re to meet the Government’s admirable, but ambitious 2030 targets."

He added "substantial measures to support the market", such as cutting VAT on public chargers, should be introduced to further encourage buyers.

"To reach the Government’s goal, the focus needs to be on converting the masses and making EVs more accessible across different demographics," he said.

The number of plug-in hybrids also rose during 2022, with 30% more cars registered on the UK's roads at the end of 2022 than the year before.

In Tendring, 378 hybrid petrol and diesel cars were licensed – up from 280 in 2021.

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, said; "The growing number of vehicles that come with a plug shows that the appetite for electric vehicles is steadily growing.

"Continued growth in the public charging network, improved single-charge distances and more models available at more affordable price points could mean the number of battery electric cars breaks the 1 million mark this year."

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: "The statistics speak for themselves – more people than ever are buying electric vehicles and we’ve put more than £2bn into helping them do so.

"This includes our £381m Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Fund to support the rollout of chargepoints across the country, and we are also working closely with industry to make sure electric vehicles are an attractive choice for everyone as sales grow."