The Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid and the pure battery-electric Nissan Leaf account for well over half (57%) of all ultra-green vehicles on the road.
The RAC Foundation has analysed the latest DVLA data to see which of the 39 vehicles currently available for the government’s plug-in car and van grants are most common on the UK’s roads.
The research found that the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV remains the most popular ultra-green vehicle in the UK with 16,100 cars licensed at the end of Q4 2015 (up 2,001 or 14% on the previous quarter).
Next comes the Nissan Leaf at 11,219 (up 778 or 7% on the previous quarter).
Combined, there are 27,319 of these two models on the road out of a total of 47,920 vehicles which could have been bought with the government grants.
After the Mitsubishi Outlander and Nissan Leaf come the BMW i3 (3,574), Renault Zoe (3,327) and Tesla Model S (2,087).
This is the list of all 39 vehicles that are, or have been, eligible for the government’s plug-in car and van grant schemes and which were on the road in the UK at the end of Q4 2015 (the most recent date for which figures are available).
|Rank||Make and Model||Q4 2015||Q3 2015||Q2 2015|
|1||Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV||16,100||14,099||12,066|
|5||Tesla Model S||2,087||1,346||1,047|
|6||Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid||1,580||1,501||1,439|
|7||Volkswagen Golf GTE||1,359||1,025||350|
|9||Audi A3 e-tron||1,218||1,033||570|
|12||Renault Kangoo ZE||740||731||719|
|13||Mercedes-Benz C350 e||628||128||19|
|14||Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid||395||361||336|
|16||Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid||337||314||299|
|18||Smart ForTwo Electric Drive||212||216||215|
|20||Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive||162||157||61|
|21||Mercedes-Benz S500 Hybrid||157||159||138|
|22||Kia Soul EV||145||83||53|
|27||Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine||38||–||–|
|28||Mercedes-Benz Vito E-Cell||23||21||27|
|29||Ford Focus Electric||19||21||23|
|30||Mia (all variants)||15||14||12|
|=||BD Otomotiv eTraffic||–||–||–|
|=||BD Otomotiv eDucato||–||–||–|
|=||Citroen Berlingo EV||–||–||–|
|=||Smith Electric Smith Edison||–||–||–|
Note: Some of the vehicles above might have been bought without the grant. Others might be licensed to manufacturers and dealers rather than customers.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “So far there seems to have been no stopping the march of the Mitsubishi Outlander, which has retained the top spot with the help of competitive pricing and strong marketing. With the Nissan Leaf still a close second to the Outlander it seems that consumers are still in two minds over whether to buy a pure electric car or a hybrid. As ever, three or four things will be key in the decision making: the upfront price, running costs, residual value and the type of driving the buyer does.
“In the coming year the hurdle for Mitsubishi and several other manufacturers will be the changes made to the plug-in car scheme on 1 March including a new tier system. Not only has the maximum car grant dropped from £5,000 to £4,500 per vehicle, in some cases it will be as little as £2,500. It is good to see a van in the top ten. The use of electric vans for deliveries in urban areas, with battery recharging done back at base each night, always seemed like a good idea to us and these numbers suggest more businesses are making the same calculation.”[source: RAC Foundation]