Sales of electrified vehicles grew by about 20% in the UK last year versus the explosive growth of nearly 40% that was seen across the rest of the European Union.
Given the reduction in government incentives, the pace of growth of plug-in cars is now falling significantly behind the EU average.
The latest figures for new car registrations, released Monday by the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT), reveal record registrations of hybrid, electric, and hydrogen cars in the UK last year, with year-on-year growth topping 20 per cent.
The petrol electric hybrids remained the most popular choice, up +21.3% to 81,156 units. Plug-in hybrids also recorded a strong uplift (+24.9%) over the year, though the figures suggest growth is slowing following the removal of the Government’s plug-in car grant for these vehicles in October.
Demand for PHEVs grew almost 30% in the first 10 months, but year on year increases fell to 3.1% and 8.7% in November and December respectively. Pure electric cars, meanwhile, grew 13.8% in the year but, with just 15,474 registered, they still make up only 0.7% of the market.
While cleaner cars are soaring in popularity, diesel car sales have plummeted by almost 30 per cent.
“Supportive, not punitive measures are needed to grow sales, because replacing older cars with new technologies, whether diesel, petrol, hybrid or plug-in, is good for the environment, the consumer, the industry and the exchequer,” said Mike Hawes, chief executive of SMMT.