Plug-in Car Sales Soared Off The Charts In UK – 3,100 In September

OCT 6 2014 BY MARK KANE 44

Nissan LEAF

Nissan LEAF

Electric car sales in the UK literally exploded last month and September’s advantage is so overwhelming that we could forget all the previous records on the graph.

SMMT is indicating 3,093 plug-in car registrations in the UK in September, of which 1,208 were pure electric and 1,885 were plug-in hybrids. This is more than 0.7% of the market.

Well, we expected that September would bring strong results, but who would’ve thought 3,100? (last year it was just 597 sold in the UK in September 2013).

In total, almost 9,000 electric cars were registered YTD.

We were eagerly looking forward to press releases from Mitsubishi, as we suspected that most of plug-in hybrids sold belong to Outlander PHEV.

And Mitsubishi confirmed that Outlander PHEV accounted for over half of all UK plug-in vehicle sales in September. The 1,000-unit mark was crossed, meaning that Mitsubishi almost doubled its Outlander PHEV sales in the UK compared to last month.

Lance Bradley, Managing Director of Mitsubishi Motors in the UK, commented:

“September was a strong month across the range, closing our third quarter with sales more than double the same period last year. There is a great feeling across the Mitsubishi network, which is quickly expanding its staff numbers, that this will be a special year”.

On the all-electric side, we are in better position to see the leaders because Nissan already issued a press release and announced the best sales month ever in a single European market for the LEAF.

851 LEAFs sold in September in UK is well over the 630 record from March and even higher than the all-time record of 703 in Norway.

“Figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show the Nissan LEAF clocked up 851 sales during September, up 156% on the same month last year (332 sold), and topping March 2014 (the previous record month) when 630 were sold. This strong performance was not only a record for the UK, but represents the largest volume of Nissan LEAFs ever sold in one month in a European market*.

* The previous European record was achieved by Norway in March 2013 when 703 Nissan LEAFs were retailed in the month.”

This year, Nissan sold in the UK almost 3,000 LEAFs:

“Sales of the British-built Nissan LEAF have already bettered the total number of units sold in 2013 (1,812 in total), with 2,969 cars sold so far this year, proving that the model’s practicality and low running costs, coupled with its unique driving experience, are keeping it ahead of the competition.

Dig deeper into today’s figures released by SMMT, and the data reveals that the Nissan LEAF sold more than double the volume of all other pure electric models combined in September, securing a 72% share of the pure electric vehicle market in the month**. In fact, the data also confirms that the Nissan LEAF is the best-selling pure electric car so far this year, achieving a 68% share of the market.”

Paul O’Neill, EV Manager, Nissan Motor GB Limited stated:

“Sales of the all-electric Nissan LEAF continue to go from strength to strength and it’s no surprise that the vehicle that pioneered the EV sector in the UK continues to blaze the trail for the rest of its class.”

“September’s result gives us a clear indication that motorists are beginning to recognise that switching to a Nissan LEAF is not a compromise but an opportunity.”

“With a performance that matches many of its traditionally-powered competitors and the availability of charging infrastructure accelerating, the LEAF truly is a compelling choice and we fully expect to see sales continue to flourish.”

Categories: BMW, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Sales, Tesla, Volkswagen

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44 Comments on "Plug-in Car Sales Soared Off The Charts In UK – 3,100 In September"

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WoW, 851!! Word of mouth is becomming a snowball effect.

‘Electric car sales in the UK literally exploded last month’

I do hope not, and if they did I hope no one was injured…..:-)

That is what happens when you loan your language to Americans. :-0

Loan, schmoan. We (Americans) took it with us, we upgraded it, but we still let you use it. We don’t even charge royalties. 😛

The chart conveniently shown above also has a remarkable good try at depicting the ‘off the chart’ sales….

I would call the writing style hyperbolic, with perhaps a touch less of the ‘hyper’. 😉

Not sure if author is serious, or literally trolling us.

My guess is, the author is just making fun of the ‘off the chart’ comment by Adam Jonas when talking about Model S demand.

Well, this is how a real chart and a real off-the chart looks like.

I like a bit of fun with words, and my comments were not really critical, rather amused as I love sub editing word games.

Well done, Mark!

I’ve said it 1,000 times, and I’m sure Trace will blow a gasket… but SUVs and AWDs are popular. Get that Outlander PHEV to the US ASAP.

Did something change in the UK recently? A new tax break or incentive? joy over the Scottish vote to stay in the UK? it’s mind boggling how many EV/PHEVs sold. Even this site was optimistically hoping for 2,000 sales… and there were 3,000!

any UKer have insight on this? Dave?

Regardless, way to go UK!

I’m hoping this plus the increased sales that are likely to come with Germany’s pro EV/PHEV changes plus the improved lineup coming to the US will help bolster worldwide EV and PHEV sales and encourage more OEMs to get in the game or up their game.

Its a new car registration plate, which change in the UK in September and March.

In the UK sales at the Leaf/Volt/Outlander are typically either directly company vehicles, or vehicles which are leased by individuals with the company’s vehicle allowance.

For the Leaf a lot of companies, especially local Government, bought a few to test for their use, to make sure they worked and kept on working.

They did, so they now move on to fleet ordering.

The Outlander sales are probably mainly individuals with an allowance from their company.

You pay way less tax as a benefit in kind if it is a BEV/PHEV, so the first decent vehicle which had no range limits but qualified is selling out.

Holy Hell! 0.7% And I thought Ireland’s result (0.77% 37 units) in August was impressive!

This article has no mention of Tesla or BMW. Are their sales really that insignificant to the total result? I would have preferred to see data from vehicle registrations than from an industry trade group.

That is who does the figures in the UK.
Don’t worry, the other manufacturers would kill them if they exaggerated them!

Tesla don’t give their monthly figures, although of course in their case it is just part of their mystique and nothing to do with opaque accounting practises, and BMW are probably just late.

The other big ones we don’t have figures for are VW and Renault – I notices a couple of Zoes the other day when I happened to be in their showrooms, so maybe they have got around to trying to sell them now instead of hiding them.

The question now is Where will the government get the 300% tax that they get from fuel, Petrol Diesel etc?

That is why Europeans don’t rush to buy electric cars.
The tax break won’t last any longer than it has to, and then prices will reflect the ~60% tax on fuel for petrol, one way or another.

Or may be the govts don’t need all that money if they stop fighting oil wars.

You’ve nailed why Swiss petrol prices are so high.

So it’s still another 800 PHEV’s or so to account for.
Is it i3 REx’s or maybe the e-tron starting to be delivered?

The i3, with and without a RE, is likely to sell well here.
I’m not sure on their release dates
The Prius plug in is on sale, and will have soaked up some of them.

The Volt, whether called the Ampera or not, is not popular.

The i3 is supposed to have sold 280 units per month on average for the second quarter in the UK.

And the Prius PHEV and Volvo might have gotten up to 100 combined.

So most of the rest of the sales are probably the i3.

Tesla is going to be in there in the BEVs, there is at least one order for 35 for a limo hire firm, and the usual collection of sheiks and Russian mafia will want to add one to their fleets.

Since there were only 357 BEVs sold in September which weren’t Leafs, and the i3 without the Rex and the Zoe, and maybe the E-Up depending on when it went on sale will have taken some of them, it looks as though Tesla has been ‘production constrained’ to maybe a couple of hundred Tesla S cars.

I think, 100 Model S in Sept tops. Keep building the super chargers. The buyers will come.

They already have for the i3, which coincidentally is also a practical proposition to drive around narrow European streets,as well as being half the price of a Model S.

And the i3 has no superchargers.

Now I remember…….

The English developed the Leaf and the BMW i3. I forgot that part. And they were also responsible for the Renault Zoe and the Tesla Model S and the Mitsubishi Outlander hybrid.

A real trophy case of English “firsts”. (sarcasm)

We know, of course, that the English didn’t really develop of any of these vehicles.

Unfortunately, Inside EVs has been graced with a self appointed English “authority” who has made it his life mission to tell those who actually did the work and created these electric vehicles, what they are doing wrong and how they will ultimately fail.

Someone for whom the glass is perpetually half empty.

Lithium is certainly useful.
Perhaps it is time you took yours?
You seem a touch overwrought.

Maybe what happened here was we hit a point where there where enough EV’s on the road to allow larger and larger numbers of people to trust.

The English have been notoriously slow to adopt new ideas, such as “No Taxation Without Representation”.

They have also been slow to adopt electric cars. While U.S. plug in sales have soared past 250,000, U.K sales of plug in cars lingers around 10,000.

Until the Brits actually start creating some EVs of their own, or at least start buying electric vehicles in significant numbers, then Critiques from so-called English Experts will tend to fall on deaf ears.

I’m not really into nationalistic or racialist commentary, save in obviously extremely light-hearted jest.

Do calm down, and if you have an actual point to make other than general disapprobation of anyone who does not at all times share your own enthusiasms on every subject, do try to make it coherently.

Perhaps there will be a Nissan Leaf or a Mitsu Outlander in season 3 of:

“Last Tango in Halifax”

It is about a disfunctional family in the UK.
Great program available on Netflix.

Our own David Martin is supposed to appear in season 3. 🙂

high David.

Not recently, George.
I am a little too old for that sort of thing.

To change the subject to something which is actually on subject, VW have now said that they expect to have their ~200 mile E-Golf on the road by 2016-7:

The 36amp version on their road map appears to be one from Panasonic, just like their present one, not a new one from LG Chem.

Looks like they are talking about 50% improvement by 15-16. From 200 km to 300 km. (that would be about 130 mile EPA). Is that what you mean by 200 mile EV by 16-17 ?

Oddly enough, some other countries have the temerity to use different standards to those of the US on occasion which they feel are more suitable to their own road conditions.

Wrong of them, I know, but there it is.

Perhaps you are confused about who made the statement.
It is VW, not I and will be against the European NEDC standard since they happen to be a European company

However VW have a good record of being conservative in their stats for their cars.

It is also not clear whether US companies when they give range estimates for future cars are using the EPA standard, or the ~20% more lenient Californian ZEV estimates.


High sales!! Perhaps it’s the Formule E presentation in London effect.

Good news anyway!!

There is nothing nationalistic about the fact that England has no electric car of their own.

Your goodwill to all men and welcome for diversity of opinion overflows.

The high Leaf sales will have been greatly boosted by a deal Nissan were offering its employees and friends of employees in august and september. They were giving nearly £8000 off list price plus £500 to any employee who got a friend to buy one using this discount. October and november figures should also be quite high on the back of this. I ordered one the is being delivered in early November and was told by the dealer in the north east that the offer has lead to a massive increase in sales of the leaf at all north east Nissan dealers.

Good grief!
With a discount the price of a small city car, it is not surprising they are shifting!

What on earth is going on?
That sounds like an end of line clearance sale…

It is kinda funny. Mitsubishi has been laughed at for their odd-looking little iMiEV Kei car and it it’s much-too-small battery. It has flopped in the USA.

But they’ve come back strong with an extremely popular Outlander PHEV. I think the OUtlander could be a car that moves plug-in sales up to the next level . . . not on its own but in the fact that this will force other car-makers to release their own plug-in SUV/CUV cars (or lose lots of sales to Mitz).

Anyone knows when 5000 pounds rebate will expire for EVs in UK?
Was more funding added for this by the recent 500 million pound govt program?

‘The grant has been extended until at least 2017, or until 50,000 electric cars have been sold. The plug-in electric vehicle grant was initially supposed to end in May next year,’


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