Electric vehicle sales in UK reach record high in Q1-2016

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 14 Apr 2016

The United Kingdom saw the sale of an electric car every 13 minutes in the first quarter of 2016! In total 10,496 plug-in cars hit UK roads during the first three months of the year, with more than 115 EVs sold each day, representing the best period of electric car sales since the Plug-in Car Grant was introduced in January 2011.

The Plug-in Car Grant allows customers to cover 35% of the cost of a car, up to a maximum of either £2,500 or £4,500 depending on the model; and 20% of the cost of a van, up to a maximum of £8,000.

Analysis by Go Ultra Low and latest registration figures from UK’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show plug-in car sales in 2016 are ahead of schedule to exceed 2015’s record total (386% rise in EV sales) – when more plug-in cars were sold than the previous five years combined. In addition, EV sales in the first quarter were 23% more year-on-year (YoY).

The number of vehicles registered using the Plug-In Car Grant has now surpassed 58,000, nearly triple the amount that were registered at the start of last year.

Commenting on the figures, Transport Minister Andrew Jones, said, “These record figures show that hundreds of people every week are coming round to the fact that plug-in cars are cleaner, greener and cheaper to run. The UK is a world leader in the uptake of low emission vehicles and our long-term economic plan is investing £600 million by 2020 to improve air quality, create jobs and achieve our goal of every new car and van in the UK being ultra-low emission by 2040.”

In addition to surging quarterly growth, March also delivered the strongest-ever monthly sales figures, with 7,144 new electric cars hitting UK roads. The monthly total exceeds the previous year’s high of 6,104 by 17%.

Poppy Welch, Head of Go Ultra Low, commented, “This continued and steep growth in uptake of plug-in cars is testament to how electric vehicles are becoming a natural choice for increasing numbers of new car buyers. With low running costs, tax exemptions and free parking in many locations, many more motorists should be considering a plug-in vehicle as their next car. As registrations records continue to be set and the rate of EV growth carries on, it’s no longer a question of will more motorists choose electric, but when.”

This year early boost in plug-in registrations is set to maintain the UK’s position as a leading market in the European Union for electric vehicle (EV) sales. Over the past 12 months, the UK ranks as the biggest major market and second only to the Netherlands in total EV registrations, with 28,715 new plug-in cars representing one fifth of the European Union’s collective EV sales.

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One in five new car buyers have an electric car mindset, says new study 

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