Records tumble for plug-in car sales

Records tumble for plug-in car sales


December was a record breaking month for plug-in cars in the UK as more than 3,000 ultra low emission vehicles were registered, taking 1.7 per cent of new car sales. The market share is the highest ever seen in the UK and a considerable increase of the previous best of 1.3 per cent, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The news is especially good considering that overall December sales were the best ever – up 8.4 per cent – and saw more than 180,000 vehicles registered. Almost 1,000 more Plug-in Car Grant (PiGC) vehicles were registered in December 2015 than in the same period the previous year with total sales at 3,090 – compared with December 2014’s 2,149. This represents one in every 60 cars sold as an ultra low emission vehicle.

Now with the end of the 2015 calender year complete, the figures show that 28,188 PiGC eligible cars were sold in 2015, almost double the 14,532 sold in 2014. This now puts the total number of PiCG eligible cars sold since the start of the grant at 47,690 – and this excludes commercial vehicles. Add in non-grant eligible plug-in cars and vans and the UK electric fleet now numbers almost 54,000 vehicles (see graph below).


Source: Next Green Car, SMMT, OLEV Jan 2016

Plug-in sales accounted for almost 1.1 per cent of overall car registrations in 2015 – with the industry as a whole celebrating four years of consecutive growth and seeing only the fourth year on record where car sales have passed the 2.5 million mark within 12 months.

The alternatively fuelled vehicle market – which includes PiCG and hybrid vehicles – took the biggest ever market share for a year at 2.8 per cent of registrations, growing 40.3 per cent. Sales of Plug-in Hybrid vehicles almost doubled while pure-electric vehicles saw an increase of around 50 per cent.

Ben Lane, Director of Next Green Car said: “December’s sales figures for plug-in vehicles are record-breaking with electric cars representing 1.7% of total UK car sales. In everyday terms, one in every 60 cars sold in the UK is now an ultra low emission vehicle.

“This is fantastic news for air quality, carbon emissions and the electric vehicle industry and has only been made possible by the ingenuity of manufacturers and the financial support of the UK Government. If this progress continues, as we believe it will, all new cars will be plug-in capable by 2040, which is the headline objective set by the UK to meet its national and international carbon obligations.”

For more EV statistics take a look at the Next Green Car electric car market statistics page.