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Plug-in hybrids are starting to sell like hot cakes

It seems UK motorists are taking a shine to the pros of plug-in hybrid cars, as sales have risen significantly in 2015, according to new figures.

A total of 14,041 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles have been purchased to date in the UK, an increase of 226.5 per cent on the same period in 2014. A total of 20,992 motorists have bought a plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle this year.

Mitsubishi’s Outlander PHEV is currently the most popular plug-in hybrid, representing 9,303 of those sales. Second place goes to the Nissan Leaf, with 4,285 sales, while BMW’s i3 is in third with 1,564 sales.

The Outlander PHEV, Leaf and i3 saw sales figures of 2,731, 2,969 and 874 cars, respectively, during the same time in 2014 and that figure is likely to increase in light of VW’s ‘dieselgate’ scandal that involved cheating emissions results on diesel vehicles.

Ultra-low emission vehicles now represent more than one per cent of UK new car registrations, which is still miniscule in the grand scheme of things but an improvement on the 2014 figure of 0.44 per cent. The government estimates it will reach five per cent by 2020.

The sales figures come from the Society of Motor Manufacturers, which have been analysed by the Ultra Go Low campaign group comprised the government and a number of major car manufacturers. Its aim is to expel myths surrounding eco car ownership.

London Mayor Boris Johnson – who is currently talk of the town after barging into a 10-year-old child during a touch rugby game – unveiled the new Mitsubishi Outlander in Tokyo.

Mr Johnson, who plans to have an ultra-low emissions zone to London in 2020, said he was pleased to see mass production was making eco cars ‘more affordable’.

Go Ultra Low head Poppy Welch said: “The growth in plug-in car registrations is excellent news and in line with our expectations.

“This trend should continue over the course of this year as we know that motorists are keen to achieve maximum miles for the lowest cost, while minimising emissions and environmental impact.”

This year the government extended its plug-in grant until February 2016 at the earliest. Cars with CO2 emissions below 75g/km are eligible for £5,000 incentive.

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