Plug-in car sales show large increase

New car figures highest for a decade

Published:  14 January, 2015

The latest new vehicle registrations data from the SMMT has revealed an increase in plug-in vehicle sales during 2014.

The figures revealed 2014 was a bumper year for new car sales, with numbers sold reaching their highest figure since 2004. In total 2,476,435 vehicles were sold, making 2014 the fourth highest year for registrations with a year-on-year growth of 9.3%. Diesel vehicles again topped the figures with a 50.1% share, a growth of 0.3% while petrol powered vehicles achieved 47.8%, a fall of 1% on 2013.

The interesting area of growth was in plug-in vehicles. In 2013 just 3,586 were sold in the UK. This increased four-fold in 2014 with 14,498 sold, contributing to the market share for alternative fuelled vehicles reaching a 2.1% market share, up 0.7%.

While this figure may remain low, it must not be forgotten that this is representative of cars sold in 2014 only, not how many are on the road. The increase in sales highlights the interest of the public in electric vehicles and could also be attributed to the increase in manufacturers offering them for sale, including BMW and VW.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, comments: "UK new car registrations returned to pre-recession levels in 2014, as pent-up demand from the recession years combined with confidence in the economy saw consumer demand for the latest models grow consistently and strongly.

"The year was particularly strong for alternatively-fuelled vehicles as increased choice, coupled with a growing desire for reduced costs and greater efficiency, resulted in a quadrupling of plug-in car registrations over 2013. With a variety of new plug-in models expected in 2015, this area of the market will continue to grow significantly. For the market as a whole, we expect a more stable 2015 as demand levels off."

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