It seems things are picking up as the months tick on, too: in the last quarter, sales were up 38%.
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The latest figures mean electric and plug-in car sales have grown for 22 months in a row. Best-sellers include the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Motoring Research is running as a long-termer, plus the Nissan LEAF (still Britain’s best-selling full EV) and newer entrants such as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class PHEV.
The government Plug-in Car Grant is helping drive EV growth, say analysts. Almost 70,000 electric-capable cars have now been sold through the Plug-in Car Grant since it was introduced in 2011.
The latest iteration of the scheme offers buyers of sub-50g/km models with an EV range of at least 70 miles an allowance of £4,500; those with lesser ranges, or emissions between 50-75g/km, get £2,500 off the car’s list price.
The Go Ultra Low organisation said government support “has been crucial to driving the success of electric vehicles in the UK”. But it’s not just the Plug-in Car Grant; on top of it are “tax benefits that could be worth thousands over the life of the car such as the lowest rates of Vehicle Excise Duty and company car tax, as well as support for home and public charging infrastructure”.
Transport Minister John Hayes said: “The low-emission sector supports over 18,000 UK jobs and is a key pillar in our ambition for a low carbon, high tech and high skills economy.”
He also reiterated the UK’s ambitious pledge for green cars in the future. “We want to make the UK a world leader in electric vehicle uptake and manufacture, to ensure that by 2050 every car and van on our roads is a zero emission vehicle.”