If you purchased a pure electric and plug-in hybrid car in the UK last year, you weren’t the only one.
In fact, almost 120,000 others did the exact same thing as Britain’s plug-in vehicle market enjoyed its biggest year year.
Electric cars may no longer be the novelty they once were – city centres regularly hum with the gentle whir of a battery-powered motor – but demand is higher than ever.
The number of plug-in cars you can choose from has boomed since the Nissan Leaf buzzed into showrooms back in 2011. Today, virtually every major car maker in the world offers some form of hybrid or electricity-fuelled model in the UK, and the Brits are biting.
Feasting in fact. Some 119,786 hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell cars were registered in 2017 – a record high and a unquestionable landmark for sales of AFVs (alternatively fuelled vehicles).
As such, AFVs managed it biggest ever slice of the UK new car market, representing close to one in 20 of all new cars registered last year (4.7 per cent).
If this wasn’t positive enough, this means that UK consumers now buy more plug-in cars than anywhere else in Europe as demand grew by a quarter.
So which plug-in cars have been most popular? Well, although full-year figures haven’t been released yet, we do have an accurate idea of which models UK motorists have been plugging into most.
By far the best-selling plug-in vehicle in the UK to date is the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, which just this week passed 100,000 sales for Europe, with a third of those (34,108) finding a UK home.
Second place is the Nissan Leaf – the car that seriously ignited the plug-in car market. We only have figures for the year up to Q3 2017, but we can tell you that sales enjoyed a nine per cent rise over those 12 months with 18,922 examples being registered in the third quarter alone.
Other major selling plug-ins include the Mercedes-Benz C350e – essentially a plug-in C-Class – BMW’s i3 and 330e (a plug-inable 3 Series).
One intriguing point though: only two of 2017’s ten best-selling cars are currently available with an electric powertrain, in part or whole: the Volkswagen Golf (eGolf, GTE) and Mercedes-Benz C-Class (C 350e plug-in).
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, believes it is a positive thing that more motorists and organisations are switching on to the benefits provided by plug-in vehicles.
However, he urged them to not get carried away and choose the car that best suits their lifestyle.
“Consumers should be encouraged to buy the right car for their driving needs irrespective of fuel type – whether that be petrol, electric, hybrid or diesel as it could save them money,” he commented.
Nice little earner
If you considering picking up a plug-in car, you could potentially run one for a year and come out with a profit.
Data from vehicle values Cap HPI this week revealed that many plug-in cars appreciate in value over 12 months, even with an extra 10,000 miles on the clock.
It said that a Peugeot Ion – hardly the most desirable electric vehicle out there – appreciated by 8.6 per cent over 12 months, to the value of £425.
Similarly, Vauxhall’s Ampera – a car that was dropped from the UK due to poor sales – can expect £725 to be added to its value over the same amount of time, while the Nissan Leaf appreciates by four per cent on average (£456).
So, what you waiting for?
Are you thinking about getting a plug-in car? Which model takes your fancy? Let us know down there in the comments.