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One in four European PHEVs registered in the UK last year

The UK remained Europe’s largest market for plug-in hybrids during 2016, accounting for almost a quarter of the total volume, figures from manufacturers’ association ACEA reveal.

Plug-in Hybrid

Plug-in hybrids are gaining popularity across Europe.

Plug-ins are a favoured technology in the region; of the 206,584 mains-rechargeable vehicles registered across the European Union and EFTA last year, 112,999 were plug-in hybrids while the remainder were pure electric models. Almost all of the growth in plug-in vehicle registrations last year can be attributed to rising volumes of plug-in hybrids across the region.

The UK remained the leading market last year; 24,714 plug-in hybrids were registered here during 2016, which is a 21.9% share of the region’s total volume. Two thirds of the 36,917 plug-in vehicles sold in the UK are hybrids, accounting for a 0.9% share of the total passenger car market.

That’s higher even than Norway, which also recorded growing plug-in hybrid volumes last year helped by a change in tax rules in 2015 which reduced the weight-based tax penalty that had always given pure electric vehicles a running cost advantage. A total of 20,653 plug-in hybrids were registered in Norway last year, compared to 24,222 electric vehicles.

However, Norway remains the region’s biggest-volume market for plug-in vehicles; 44,908 were registered last year, taking a 29.0% share of Norwegian passenger car market. Significantly, this suggests electric and plug-in hybrid registrations could exceed conventional diesel and petrol models during 2017 – these took a 30.8% and 29.0% respective market share in 2016. By comparison, plug-ins accounted for 1.4% of the UK’s total passenger car registrations last year.

But the UK is ahead of other large markets; France is the third-biggest market for plug-ins (29,189 units), followed by Germany (25,214 units) and the Netherlands (22,801 units). However, the Dutch market halved year on year due to reduced incentives introduced at the start of 2016, and the preceding rush for registrations.

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Alex Grant

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