Hybrid cars reach 100,000 UK landmark

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THE POPULARITY of electric cars in the UK has shot up over the last few years, with more than 100,000 plug-in vehicles on the road, compared with just 3,500 in 2013.

This huge increase in electric cars in 2017 has come about because of a greater level of choice for drivers, a shift in the public’s attitude towards electric cars and a constantly improving public recharging network. Combined, this means that UK electric car buyers have a greater selection of vehicles to choose from than ever before.

This six-figure landmark builds on the record electric car registrations in 2016, a year in which volumes rose 29% on the previous 12 months.

From January to December, motorists flocked to buy electric vehicles in record numbers, with 36,907 electric vehicles registed in the UK. As thousands of motorists switched-on to the cost saving and convenience of electric motoring, public and business appetite for plug-in hybrid and pure electric cars reached a new high.

An ever-increasing selection of electric cars is playing a key role in plug-in vehicle uptake surpassing record levels, Go Ultra Low suggests. Today, more than 35 plug-in models are available to UK motorists – four times the number on the market just five years ago – with yet more new versions set to be launched later this year.

Poppy Welch, Head of Go Ultra Low, said: “Year after year, we see record levels of electric vehicle registrations as more and more motorists realise the cost-saving and environmental benefits of driving a plug-in electric car. With ongoing government incentives and increasing product choice we expect this trend to continue.”

Plug-in hybrid uptake was particularly strong in 2016 as annual registrations rose 41.9%, with in-demand models such as the BMW 330e, Volkswagen Golf GTE and Audi A3 Sportback e-tron among the most popular. Every quarter in 2016 produced a year-on-year improvement, while the accumulative registrations total for all electrically powered cars now rests at 87,158.

The broad variety of hybrid and pure electric cars on the market is a marked improvement on the eight electric models available to drivers in 2011 when government introduced the Plug-in Car Grant. The range of products now extends to more than 20 pure electric and 15 hybrid vehicles, from city cars and SUVs to sports cars and family hatchbacks.

Go Ultra Low exists to help motorists understand the benefits, cost savings and capabilities of the raft of electric vehicles on the market. The collaborative campaign is the first of its kind, bringing together a consortium of vehicle manufacturers, government and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

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