Record number of UK car buyers choosing ULEV

Sales of passenger vehicles with CO2 emissions lower than 75g/km, increased by 386% in the first quarter of 2015 compared to Q1 2014.

Record number of UK car buyers choosing ULEV

According to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), registrations of ultra-low emission passenger cars reached an all-time high of 8,573 in Q1 2015. The most popular choice was the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, followed by the Nissan LEAF and BMW i3.

The SMMT figures also revealed that over 41% of alternatively-fuelled cars registered in this period qualified for the government’s plug-in car grant, up from 13% over the same period in 2014.

In addition there was a 421% year-on-year increase in fleet and business ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) volumes in the first three months of the year. Businesses running commercial vehicles also showed signs of increasing adoption of electric vans, with volumes up 263 units compared to January-March 2014 – a growth rate of 353%.

Hetal Shah, head of Go Ultra Low, a joint initiative by the government and the UK automotive industry, said: “The latest plug-in vehicle uptake figures prove that ultra-low emission cars and vans make sense for both private and business users, especially with the potential for fuel costs as low as 2p a mile and reduced whole life running costs.”

All ULEVs are exempt from road tax and congestion charge because of CO2 emissions of less than 75g/km.

The latest registration figures showed that car buyers in the South were the most likely to opt for an ULEV, followed by Londoners and the east of the country. Yorkshire and the North West complete the list of top five regions. The figures also show that car buyers in East Yorkshire are least likely to choose an ultra-low emission option.