The UK saw record sales of plug-in cars last year. According analysis by the government and the Go Ultra Low campaign, which is backed by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, as well as leading companies in the industry, plug-in sales for 2015 exceeded the total for 2010 to 2014 combined.
In all, 28,188 new ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) arrived on UK roads in 2015, a rise of 94 per cent compared with the previous year.
Fuelling the demand is a greater choice of models, with thirty pure electric or plug-in hybrid cars now available in the UK, ranging from high-performance sports cars to family run-arounds – and more are on the way in 2016. Last year, the plug-in hybrid vehicles proved most popular among motorists, with 18,254 registrations, a 137 per cent increase on 2014. Fully electric vehicle sales increased 48 per cent to 9,934 registrations.
Transport Minister Andrew Jones MP said, “The UK has one of the fastest growing ultra-low emission vehicle markets in the world and these record figures show more and more people across the country are enjoying the benefits of this cheap-to-run and green technology.
“British drivers have a wider choice of vehicles than ever before and we have increased our support for plug-in vehicles to £600 million over the next five years to cut emissions, create jobs and support our cutting-edge industries.”
Head of Go Ultra Low, Poppy Welch, said, “This sustained level of growth represents how plug-in vehicles are becoming the norm for drivers who want to buy a fun, economical, stylish new car. Now, instead of facing high running costs, motorists can reap the rewards of an economical ultra low emission vehicle, which can save the typical car owner hundreds of pounds every year. With this growth showing no signs of stopping, it’s proof that electric car ownership is the new normal. Now, it’s not a question of will motorists choose electric, but when.”
With 9,186 ULEVs registered, the South East of England proved to be the region that saw the most new electric cars, each enjoying assistance from Government’s Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG). The next biggest regions taking advantage of the contributory funding were the South West, which was ranked second (4,420), and the West Midlands, which was third (3,371).
In terms of individual models, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) leads registrations (11,681 cars) for the second year running, 118 per cent up on the previous year’s figures. As before, the Nissan LEAF ranked second with a 29 per cent hike (5,236 cars), while the BMW i3 again took third place with registrations up 59 per cent year-on-year (1,393 cars).