LONDON – Electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles continue to break sales records in the U.K., according to figures released by emissions-abatement lobbying group Go Ultra Low.
Registrations of low-emissions vehicles in 2017 increased more than 27% from the previous year to 46,522. In 2018, annual EV registrations could reach 60,000 for the first time.
“2017 was a stellar year for electric vehicle registrations with strong growth of 27%, demonstrating the massive consumer appetite for 100% electric and plug-in hybrid cars,” says Poppy Welch, head of Go Ultra Low. “There are already more than 130,000 electric vehicles on U.K. roads, a figure that could pass 190,000 this year as new models come to market and consumers reap the cost-saving benefits of electric driving.”
Across the country, several regions stood out with London (9,274) and eastern England (8,685) registering the most EVs, a rise of 42% and 21%, respectively, in 2016. Meanwhile, southwestern England and Scotland grew the fastest, boosting plug-in uptake 140% and 70%, respectively, against the previous year.
Demand for 100% electric cars such as the U.K.’s best-seller – the Nissan Leaf – continued to grow with the sector’s registrations increasing about one-third, to top 13,000. PHEVs such as the BMW 330e, VW Golf GTE and Hyundai Ioniq delivered the highest volume of registrations with more than 33,000 arriving on U.K. roads, up one-quarter from 2016.