Ultra-green cars. What's selling? 01 May 2015

Green car numbers accelerate with Nissan leading Mitsubishi

Four years after the government launched a £5,000 grant scheme for buyers of the most eco-friendly cars the battery-powered Nissan Leaf is the number one green car on the road.

Analysis of DVLA data by the RAC Foundation shows that at the end of 2014 there were 6,838 Nissan Leafs licensed in the UK.

The Leaf became available to buy under the Plug-in Car Grant scheme soon after it started on 1 January 2011.

The Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid - which only went on sale in 2014 - is the second most common model with 5,273 cars licensed.

Third is the BMW i3 (1,534 vehicles licensed).

This is the list of the top-20 vehicles on the road - as of the end of 2014 - which are currently available under the Plug-in Car Grant scheme (worth up to £5,000 per vehicle) and the Plug-in Van Grant scheme (worth up to £8,000 per vehicle).

Rank

Make and Model

Number of licensed vehicles in the UK at the end of Q4 2014

1

Nissan Leaf

6,838

2

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (all variants including van)

5,273

3

BMW i3

1,534

4

Renault Zoe

1,356

5

Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

1,324

6

Vauxhall Ampera

1,169

7

Tesla Model S

698

8

Renault Kangoo ZE

663

9

Nissan e-NV200 (all variants including van)

399

10

Peugeot Ion

368

11

BMW i8

279

12

Mitsubishi i-Miev

266

13

Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

241

14

Smart ForTwo Electric Drive

205

15

Citroen C-Zero

202

16

Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid

175

17

Chevrolet Volt

124

18

Volkswagen e-up!

118

19

Renault Fluence

73

20

Audi A3 e-tron

66

TOTAL

 

21,371

Note: As of today there are 35 models eligible for the plug-in car and van schemes. Some of these will have come on the market since the end of 2014 when the licensing data cited above was published. The full list is in notes to editors. Some of the vehicles above might have been bought without the grant. Others might be licensed to manufacturers and dealers rather than customers.

To put these numbers in perspective, there are currently 30.5m cars licensed in the UK of which 19m are petrol and 11.2m are diesel. Therefore those vehicles licensed and eligible for the plug-in car and van grants account for around 0.06% of the total.

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said:

“After a slower start than ministers hoped for sales of the greenest cars are accelerating fast, but it is illuminating to see which manufacturers are benefitting.

“These numbers tell at least two stories. One is the steady sales resilience of the Nissan Leaf which has been available under the government’s grant scheme for four years. The other is the success of the Mitsubishi Outlander of which about 5,000 were sold in its first 12 months on the market.

“We have always argued that sales of ultra-low carbon vehicles will really take off when they are priced as attractively as similar petrol and diesel models. This seems to be what has happened with the Outlander which is also attractive because of the low company car tax it attracts.

“What the numbers don’t reveal is the profitability of ultra-green cars for manufacturers or how hard each firm is pushing their products. 

“But overall the market is growing rapidly. The latest industry figures show one in 86 cars sold in the UK in the first quarter of 2015 was a plug-in vehicle of some kind.

“These figures are encouraging but we need to retain some perspective. These vehicles remain a rarity on the road at about 1 out of every 1,400 cars being driven.”

ENDS

Contacts:

Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation

020 7747 3445 | 07711 776448 | philip.gomm@racfoundation.org

Notes to editors:

The RAC Foundation is a transport policy and research organisation that explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and their users. The Foundation publishes independent and authoritative research with which it promotes informed debate and advocates policy in the interest of the responsible motorist.

The RAC Foundation is a registered charity, number 1002705. 

Details of the Foundation’s work is available at www.racfoundation.org

The licensing figures by model are available to view on the RAC Foundation website:

http://www.racfoundation.org/data/plug-in-grant-eligible-vehicles-licensed-by-quarter

It is available to embed on your website using the following code:

<iframe class="highcharts-iframe" src="//cloud.highcharts.com/embed/igocyt" style="border: 0; width: 100%; height: 500px"></iframe>

The overall number of plug-in car and van grant eligible vehicles licensed plotted over time (broken down by pure electric versus plug-in hybrids) is also available on the same webpage:

http://www.racfoundation.org/data/plug-in-grant-eligible-vehicles-licensed-by-quarter

It is available to embed on your website using the following code:

<iframe class="highcharts-iframe" src="//cloud.highcharts.com/embed/ijykuc" style="border: 0; width: 100%; height: 500px"></iframe>

SMMT data shows that 1 in 86 new cars sold are now plug-in car grant eligible:

http://www.smmt.co.uk/2015/04/march-2015-ev-registrations/

This is the full list of vehicles currently available under the government’s plug-in car and van grant schemes and how many were licensed as of the end of 2014 (the last figures available). Some of these will have come on the market since the end of 2014 when the licensing data cited was published.

Rank

Make and Model

Number of currently eligible plug-in car and van grant scheme vehicles licensed at end of Q4 2014 UK

1

Nissan Leaf

6838

2

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (all variants)

5273

3

BMW i3

1534

4

Renault Zoe

1356

5

Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

1324

6

Vauxhall Ampera

1169

7

Tesla Model S

698

8

Renault Kangoo ZE

663

9

Nissan e-NV200 (all variants)

399

10

Peugeot Ion

368

11

BMW i8

279

12

Mitsubishi i-Miev

266

13

Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

241

14

Smart ForTwo Electric Drive

205

15

Citroen C-Zero

202

16

Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid

175

17

Chevrolet Volt

124

18

Volkswagen e-up!

118

19

Renault Fluence

73

20

Audi A3 e-tron

66

21

Volkswagen e-Golf

47

22

Daimler Mercedes-Benz Vito E-Cell

23

23

Kia Soul EV

20

24

Ford Focus Electric

19

25

Mia (all variants)

14

26

Mercedes-Benz S500 Hybrid

10

27=

BYD e6

0

27=

Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive

0

27=

Mercedes-Benz C350 e

0

27=

Volkswagen Golf GTE

0

27=

BD Otomotiv eTraffic

0

27=

BD Otomotiv eDucato

0

27=

Citroen Berlingo EV

0

27=

Peugeot ePartner

0

27=

Smith Electric Smith Edison

0

 

 

×