Plug-in Car Sales Still Strong In UK – 1,700 In October

NOV 15 2014 BY MARK KANE 10

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

After the record September, last month (October) sales of plug-in cars remain strong in the UK compared to previous periods.

1,708 units sold is the second best result overall, from which 463 are all-electric cars and 1,245 plug-in hybrids (preliminary data). Plug-in hybrids now dominate the British EV market.

Plug-in cars were almost 1% (0.95%) from 179,714 total passenger car registrations in October.

After 10-months of 2014, over 10,000 EVs were sold in UK – 4,963 all-electric and 5,548 plug-in hybrids.

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10 Comments on "Plug-in Car Sales Still Strong In UK – 1,700 In October"

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EV car incentives are not heavily loaded to BEVs as they are, for instance, in Norway.

So if the sales split for the PHEVs is similar to that for September:

Then it will split two thirds Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, one third BMW i3, or around 800 and 400.

Adjusted for population that is something like 4,000 Mitsubishi PHEVs and 2,000 BMW i3 for the US.

Not bad.

BTW car sales in September in the UK are always far higher than in October, as new registration plates come out twice yearly, in September and March.

Do they still sell the Ampera?
Can a Brit explain why the Outlander and i3 seem to be successful, but the Ampera was a flop?

The Volt/Ampera is expensive for the accomodation it offers, GM put up the price on the Ampera version relative to the Volt, which was marketed as part of the very unpopular Chevrolet brand, with limited numbers of service centres, so it cost a lot for the class of car.

The Outlander PHEV offers loads of accomodation, in a package which is financially attractive compared to others in its class, as for a start vehicles here are rated as personal income, but only as a percentage, and the Mitsubishi rate is very low.

The i3 is a handy sized city car, with loads of street cred, and exempt from the London congestion charge, so it has taken over from the popular Fiat 500 EV which sold very well in posh areas of London as a city car.

So they have both hit a sweet spot, although different ones.

Any thoughts on why the Leaf doesn’t do better? I’d think that’d be the perfect UK car, at least for city driving when the range isn’t stretched that much. (Relatively) inexpensive, nice Europe-sized vehicle, pretty reliable. Thoughts?

In September it got 851 sales, two thirds as many as then Outlander, so it hasn’t flopped. The incentive system in the UK though is not weighted heavily in favour of BEVs, with no, for instance, ZEV requirement, and although of course there are plenty of families with two cars, they are not so prevalent as in the US. People in the UK, and Europe for that matter, are well aware that Government depends heavily on petrol tax revenue, so the apparent advantage of not paying high petrol prices is likely to be relatively short lived, so there is little incentive to heavily compromise utility for a couple of hundred pounds a year. Small cars and diesel cars even with high fuel costs are cheap to buy and cost little to run, so until you get to bigger vehicles like the Outlander private individuals are rather shy of buying. Even now although I do not have figures I would assume that most Nissan Leaf sales are to corporations, local Government, and government, which can use BEV on suitable missions, but have a fleet for other uses. The E-Up for instance costs around £8k more than the Up, and even at… Read more »

Awesome, thanks. That’s a really well thought out and logical set of arguments. Makes sense to me.

IMO the outlander is more popular than any other plugin because it is the only car in its class that has a 5% company car tax rate. That’s 5% of the value of the car. If u buy a diesel outlander, or pretty much any other SUV, I think it is 20%. That is a pretty big deal and some thing u don’t get with the leaf, pip or ampera all of which could be cross shopped with a whole heap of efficient hatchbacks which all fall into the 5% bracket.

Just to clarify a little, the rates given are payable by the person who has use of the car.

The UK has a system of imputed income for use of company cars, so that a proportion is payable against income tax, so that the low rate on the Mitsubishi leads to a substantially lower tax bill for the individual.

So since it involves no loss of utility, range restrictions etc, those who have a choice of company cars are plumping for the car in great numbers, as it makes sense for them personally as well as for the company they work for.