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 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 (all variants) 16,100 14,099 12,066
2 Nissan Leaf 11,219 10,441 9,310
3 BMW i3 3,574 2,943 2,484
4 Renault Zoe 3,327 2,401 2,062
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
8 Vauxhall Ampera 1,272 1,279 1,250
9 Audi A3 e-tron 1,218 1,033 570
10 Nissan e-NV200 (all variants) 1,047 896 705
11 BMW i8 1,022 964 823
12 Renault Kangoo ZE 740 731 719
13 Mercedes-Benz C350 e 628 128 19
14 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid 395 361 336
15 Peugeot Ion 374 371 368
16 Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid (all variants) 337 314 299
17 Mitsubishi i-Miev 251 250 252
18 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive 212 216 215
19 Citroen C-Zero 167 199 205
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
23 Volkswagen e-up! 142 133 124
24 Chevrolet Volt 122 119 125
25 Volkswagen e-Golf 114 98 88
26 Renault Fluence 70 71 71
27 Volvo Xc90 T8 Twin Engine 38
28 Daimler Mercedes-Benz Vito E-Cell 23 21 27
29 Ford Focus Electric 19 21 23
30 Mia (all variants) 15 14 12
31 Toyota Mirai 4 2
32 BMW 225xe
= BMW 330e
= BYD e6
= BD Otomotiv eTraffic
= BD Otomotiv eDucato
= Citroen Berlingo EV
= Peugeot ePartner
= Smith Electric Smith Edison
TOTAL 47,920 41,376 35,241

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; Royal Automobile Club (RAC) Foundation

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