Sales of plug-in cars in the U.K. soared 138.5% year-on-year to 20,922 units in the first nine months of the year.
Analysis of Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders sales data by Go Ultra Low, the low-emissions-vehicle agency, finds the uptake of plug-in hybrids showed the biggest growth, vaulting 226.5% to 14,041 units.
Fueling the demand is a greater choice of models, the agency says, with more than 27 battery electric or plug-in hybrid cars now available in the U.K., ranging from high-performance sports cars to capable family haulers.
Go Ultra Low head Poppy Welch says the growth in plug-in car registrations is in line with expectations.
“This trend should continue over the course of this year as we know that motorists are keen to achieve maximum miles for the lowest cost, while minimizing emissions and environmental impact,” Welch says in a statement.
The new statistics show Mitsubishi leading the low-emissions charge, delivering 9,303 Outlander plug-in hybrids in the first nine months of the year, up from 2,731 in like-2014.
Sales of Nissan’s all-electric Leaf totaled 4,285 units, up from 2,969, putting the model ahead of the BMW i3, with 1,564 units, up from 874.
The U.K. government predicts 5% of new car sales – about 100,000 units – will be ultra-low-emission by 2020.
Go Ultra Low is a partnership of Audi, BMW, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Renault, Toyota, Volkswagen, the U.K. government and the SMMT.
U.K. sales of ULEVs now account for slightly more than 1% of the market, up from 0.4% last year.