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PHEV popularity continues to surge in the UK

Data to the end of September showed 56,277 alternatively fuelled (hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric) vehicles have been registered since the start of the year, up from 37,845 in 2014. Of that 18,432-strong increase, 9,741 were plug-in hybrid or range-extended electric models.

Unsurprisingly, year-to-date plug-in hybrid figures are showing the largest gains overall. A total of 14,041 have been registered so far this year, up 226.5% on the 4,300 in the same period of 2014. Around two thirds of this volume (9,303 units) were the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, which remains the UK’s biggest-selling plug-in vehicle.

Electric vehicles are also growing in popularity, with 6,951 registered during the first nine months of the year – a 54.5% increase on the 4,500 registered between January and September 2014. The LEAF is the biggest-seller, again accounting for around two thirds of the total sales – 4,285 units.

The popularity of the Outlander PHEV is changing the sales mix of the entire alternative fuel vehicle market. Plug-in hybrid and range-extended electric vehicles accounted for 66.9% of Plug-in Car Grant eligible registrations to the end of September 2015 – up from 48.9% last year despite the growth of the EV market.

In volume terms, most alternative fuel vehicles registered in the UK are hybrids without a mains-rechargeable battery. These totalled 32,285 units (+13.7%) for the first nine months of the year, accounting for 62.7% of the market. In the first nine months of last year, 77.9% of alternatively fuelled vehicles were hybrids without a plug.

Head of Go Ultra Low, Poppy Welch, said: ‘The growth in plug-in car registrations is excellent news and in line with our expectations. This trend should continue over the course of this year as we know that motorists are keen to achieve maximum miles for the lowest cost, while minimising emissions and environmental impact.’

Alex Grant

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