The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was the UK’s best-selling plug-in car in 2017 with more than 6,400 sales, but was pushed hard by another plug-in hybrid – BMW’s 330e on almost 5,700 units. The executive saloon managed to push the traditional second-placed model – Nissan’s Leaf – into third position for the year at just shy of 5,000 sales.
The rest of the top ten consisted of BMW’s i3, the Mercedes Benz C 350e, Tesla Model S, VW Golf GTE, Tesla Model X, BMW 530e, and Volvo XC90 T8 respectively. The market is currently dominated by the top three models though with 37% of total electric vehicle sales in 2017 made up of the Outlander PHEV, 330e, and Leaf.
The make-up of best-selling models largely follows the market trend for PHEVs accounting for two-thirds of current plug-in car sales. Surprising performances though came from the Mini Countryman Cooper S E, which was only on sale for less than nine months of 2017 yet was the 13th best-seller.
BMW’s 530e is another success story in ninth place with only a year of sales behind it. These models are performing strongly, even without both a full 12 months of deliveries and market presence behind them.
The Renault Zoe had a surprisingly poor year considering the popular french supermini sits seventh in the total UK plug-in sales charts. Looking just at 2017 though the Zoe was 15th, with less than half the sales of the previous year.
This could perhaps be because of a move from the smaller battery pack to the larger Z.E.40 model in the last quarter, with buyers waiting previously for the new model to arrive, and then having to wait for deliveries. A similar story could be behind the Leaf’s fall from second to third too – though we shall have to wait another three to six months to find out more.
Looking at current trends though, the BMW 330e was the most popular model in the last three months of 2017, with the VW Golf GTE second, and the Outlander PHEV in third – all at more than 1,000 sales.
Tesla’s Model S was the fourth best-selling car in Q4 2017, ahead of the BMW 530e, and Nissan Leaf respectively. The three models were very close in the Q4 2017 sales charts, at only around 50 sales between the Model S and Leaf.
In terms of total sales, the Outlander PHEV unsurprisingly continues at the top of the table, with almost 32,000 sales to the end of 2017. The Leaf remains in second place overall with almost 20,000 units, and the two models account for almost 40% of all plug-in car sales in the UK.
The BMWs 330e and i3 take third and fourth spots, with the 330e’s success notable for overtaking its i3 stablemate despite having been on sale for less than half the amount of time.
The Mercedes Benz C 350e is in fifth spot overall, followed by the Tesla Model S, Renault Zoe, VW Golf GTE, Volvo XC90 T8, and Nissan e-NV200. The e-NV200’s sales are mostly made up of the van rather than MPV variant, and this means the Audi A3 e-tron is tenth outright in terms of car sales.