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Sharp rise in ultra low emission vehicle registrations in 2014

Figures published by the SMMT show huge growth for the plug-in car market, which saw volumes quadruple from 3,586 in 2013 to 14,498 in 2014.

The SMMT attributed the rise to increased choice, coupled with a growing desire for reduced costs and greater efficiency

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: ‘With a variety of new plug-in models expected in 2015, this area of the market will continue to grow significantly. For the market as a whole, we expect a more stable 2015 as demand levels off.’

Meanwhile petrol-electric hybrid registrations for 2014 were up 32.6% from 26,015 units to 34,494 units. However, diesel-electric hybrid registrations fell 12.6% from 3,114 units to 2,721 units.

Phil Harrold, automotive partner at PwC, welcomed the figures, saying: ‘While the initial outlay to buy hybrids can be quite high, car buyers are being attracted by their low operating costs.

‘That said, there is still not enough long term user data available to accurately predict the life cycle of the batteries in ULEVs. The industry expects that replacing the battery could be required after three or four years and with replacement potentially costing in the low thousands of pounds, this could come as a shock to some consumers.’

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news - or gossip.

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