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Outlander PHEV tops ultra-low emission league table as plug-in sales soar

Analysis of DVLA data by the RAC Foundation has revealed that sales of plug-in vehicles eligible for the Government’s plug-in car and van grants rose 37% in Q1 2015 compared to Q4 2014, reaching a total of 29,469 vehicles. With the total UK vehicle parc comprising 30.7m cars and 3.6m vans, this means that vehicles licensed and eligible for the plug-in car and van grants make up 0.09% of the total: 1 in every 1,164. 

The research showed that the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is now the most common ultra-green car on the road in the UK, knocking the Nissan Leaf off the top spot. 

There were 9,688 Outlanders licensed at the end of Q1 2015, compared with 5,273 at the end of Q4 2014 – an 84% increase. 

By comparison there were 8,274 pure battery-powered Nissan Leafs, a 21% increase on the 6,838 figure three months earlier. 

Third in the list of licensed vehicles that qualify for the government’s plug-in car and van grants is the BMW i3 with 2,186 units, up 43%.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “This weekend Formula E electric racing comes to London with the express aim of promoting sustainable clean vehicles. From the latest figures it looks like the organisers might be pushing at a door that is just starting to open. 

“Over the last 12 months the number of ultra-green cars and vans on our roads is up by 240% with the Mitsubishi Outlander making the running, which suggests that if the industry can offer the style of vehicles motorists want at a competitive price they will vote with their wallets. 

“For the time being that is still dependent on a government grant. The challenge for manufacturers will be to offer economically attractive options when the grants get reined in.”

 

Top 20 vehicles on the road currently available under the plug-in car grant scheme (as of the end of Q1 2015):

Rank

Make and Model

Q1 2015

Q4 2014

1

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (all variants)

9688

5273

2

Nissan LEAF

8274

6838

3

BMW i3

2186

1534

4

Renault ZOE

1621

1356

5

Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

1395

1324

6

Vauxhall Ampera

1226

1169

7

Tesla Model S

902

698

8

Renault Kangoo Z.E.

692

663

9

BMW i8

546

279

10

Nissan e-NV200 (all variants)

512

399

11

Peugeot iOn

376

368

12

Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

301

241

13

Audi A3 e-tron

300

66

14

Mitsubishi i-MiEV

254

266

15

Smart ForTwo Electric Drive

216

205

16

Citroen C-Zero

206

202

17

Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid

173

175

18

Volkswagen e-up!

130

118

19

Chevrolet Volt

123

124

20

Volkswagen e-Golf

83

47

 

 

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.