Electric and hybrid car sales hit record numbers in 2017

Figures released by electric car campaigners have revealed that a record number of electric and plug-in hybrid cars were sold in the UK in 2017. 

Electric and hybrid car sales hit record numbers in 2017

Registrations for more environmentally friendly vehicles increased by more than 27% compared to 2016, up from 36,535 to 46,522. This rise has been attributed to the confusion of diesel cars being banned, greater awareness about EVs, a rise in electric and hybrid cars from key manufacturers, and a boost in infrastructure. 

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 If these figures continue, the campaigners at Go Ultra Low expect annual electric car registrations to reach 60,000 for the first time in 2018, retaining the UK’s position as one of Europe’s largest markets for ultra-low- emission vehicles.

Elsewhere in 2017, the number of plug-in cars on UK roads passed 130,000. The second half of 2017, in particular, recorded more than 24,000 registrations – up more than 40% on July to December 2016.

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Go Ultra Low also broke down these numbers by region. The most registrations were made in London (9,274) and Eastern England (8,685) – a rise of 42% and 21% respectively on 2016. Meanwhile, the South West and Scotland grew the fastest, boosting plug-in uptake by 140% and 70% respectively.

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The demand for 100% electric cars, such as the Nissan LEAF, continued to grow with registrations increasing by around a third, to top 13,000. Meanwhile, plug-in hybrid cars – such as the BMW 330e, VW Golf GTE and Hyundai IONIQ – delivered the highest volume of registrations, with more than 33,000 arriving on UK roads, an increase of a quarter.

Top five UK regions – Plug-in car registrations 2017 vs 2016

UK registrations 

 Yearly Total 2017Yearly Total 2016Yearly % Change
EAST8,6857,19320.7%
EAST MIDLANDS82670018.0%
EAST YORKSHIRE / LINCOLNSHIRE39830530.5%
LONDON9,2746,54141.8%
NORTH EAST AND CUMBRIA95983215.3%
NORTH WEST2,3981,78534.3%
NORTHERN IRELAND57643632.1%
SCOTLAND2,2921,35269.5%
SOUTH5,4345,461-0.5%
SOUTH EAST85572517.9%
SOUTH WEST1,058440140.5%
WALES76056534.5%
WEST1,37197740.3%
WEST MIDLANDS7,9876,35225.7%
YORKSHIRE3,6492,87127.1%
Total46,52236,53527.3%

The Go Ultra Low campaign is funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and eight vehicle manufacturers (Audi, BMW, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, Renault, Toyota and Volkswagen) in association with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). It was set up to help people switch to an EV and its site provides a calculator to show much you could save. 

Other calculators include a journey cost savings calculatorhome charging tool and an EV car selector

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