Nissan’s Leaf is the UK’s best-selling plug-in model in 2018, shifting more than 2,000 units in the first three months of the year according to the latest Department for Transport (DfT) figures, published today (Thursday 14th June).
The Nissan Leaf remains in second position overall though, with more than 21,500 sales in total. That puts the pure-electric hatch behind Mitsubishi’s Outlander PHEV, which retains top spot in terms of outright electric vehicle sales with more than 33,500 sales in total to the end of March 2018. The Outlander PHEV is the second best-selling plug-in model of the year, with around 1,800 units.
Third place both for the year to date and overall is taken by the BMW 330e with more than 1,100 sales in 2018 and over 10,300 in total. The BMW 330e is actually in second place looking at sales over the last 12 months. Here the Outlander PHEV is in first and the Leaf third, counting units sold between the beginning of April 2017 and the end of March 2018.
The DfT’s statistics breaking sales down on a model-by-model basis always come out three months behind the current date. This is why we are reporting on best-selling models as of the end of March 2018, as these are the latest figures available. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) provides monthly plug-in sales figures, but only at a fuel type level.
The launch of the second-generation Leaf has certainly seen a boost in sales for Nissan, with Q2 2018 unlikely to see a downturn for the popular EV. Mitsubishi’s Outlander PHEV will likely continue its success story, and be boosted further in Q3 2018 when the updated version is expected to start having an impact on the UK market.
BMW’s i3 is in fourth place both for total sales and for 2018 to date, coming in behind its 330e stablemate, having taken the position back from the Mercedes Benz C 350e. Sales of the compact BMW have improved in part thanks to the addition of the i3s to the line-up – offering pure-EV and REX versions of both i3 and i3s specifications – and a refresh across the range.
The rest of the overall top ten line-up is made of the Mercedes C Class PHEV, followed by Tesla’s Model S, Volkswagen’s Golf GTE, the Renault Zoe, Volvo’s XC90 T8 Twin Engine, and Nissan’s e-NV200. However, the majority of the e-NV200’s sales are made up of the van rather than MPV variants, so BMW’s 530e takes 10th position overall if only cars are considered.
Looking at sales for the year, a number of PHEVs have performed well, mixing up the list a little. After the Leaf, Outlander PHEV, and 330e, BMW’s 530e is in fourth place for 2018’s plug-in sales to the end of March. Following the executive saloon are Volkswagen’s Passat GTE and Golf GTE, the Mini Countryman Cooper S E, the Model S, Kia’s Niro PHEV, and the i3, in that order.
At a manufacturer level, BMW tops 2018’s sales charts so far, with more than 2,800 units sold across its model line-up. The company benefits from having a range of models performing well, rather than one star performer. Nissan and Mitsubishi have the latter scenario, and are unsurprisingly second and third respectively, with VW and Tesla rounding out the top five.
Analysing at manufacturer group level, the plug-in giants Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance are comfortably in first place both overall and for the year. The group has sold more than 4,200 plug-in models in 2018, and more than 65,000 in total. The BMW Group is in second position with almost 3,400 units sold in 2018, and more than 33,000 to date – made up of BMW and Mini sales. The VW Group – incorporating VW, Audi, and Porsche – is in third place overall with more than 14,500 plug-in sales, and more than 1,800 in 2018.
The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance dominates the UK electric vehicle market, despite improving performances from the likes of the BMW and VW Groups, Volvo, Hyundai-Kia, and Daimler. The Alliance accounts for 60% of all plug-in models sold in the UK to the end of March 2018.
Find more electric vehicle market statistics at Next Green Car. Alternatively, you can find EV Charging Guides on many of the above models on Zap-Map, or find where to charge each plug-in car by using the EV filters on desktop and app.