UK drivers still favouring plug-in hybrids
Demand for plug-in hybrids is continuing to drive a shift towards alternative fuel vehicles, despite a reduction of the plug-in car grant, registration figures from the SMMT have revealed.
Registrations of alternative fuel vehicles – comprising electric, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell models – climbed 24.5% in the first nine months of the year, to 69,095 units.
Almost half of that 13,578 increase is plug-in hybrid and range-extended electric vehicles, which the SMMT classes together. These rose 47.8% to 20,178 units, an increase of 6,526 cars. By comparison, fully electric vehicles – including hydrogen fuel cell vehicles – increased 17.2% year-to-date, reaching 8,150 units.
Reflecting the increased pace of the market, of the 75,647 vehicles eligible for the Plug-in Car Grant since it was introduced in 2011, 28,035 (37.1%) were registered in the first nine months of 2016. Fully electric vehicles accounted for 28.8% of that volume, down from 33.8% in the same period of 2015.
These figures reflect no immediate slowing of demand for plug-in hybrid and range-extender models, for which the available Plug-in Car Grant reduced from £4,500 to £2,500 for applications made after the 1st March. Some cars bought under the old scheme will still not have been registered.
Conventional hybrids are still the biggest volume sellers, accounting for 59.0% of the market – some 40,767 units. That’s up 16.8% on the same period of 2015.