UK Still Lagging Behind in Plug-In Vehicle Purchases


It’s not often that we come across plug-in vehicle sales results in the UK, but when we do, we expect to see a rising figure that’s inline with the rest of Europe.

Vauxhall Ampera Not Hot in UK

Vauxhall Ampera Not Hot in UK

Though plug-in vehicles tend to not sell well in Europe, the UK is an extreme case of low sales volumes.

The figures below, courtesy of Autocar, truly show that, despite significant price reductions, plug-in vehicles still aren’t catching on in the UK:

Model / Starting price 2012 / Starting price 2013 / Total first half sales 2013

Chevrolet Volt: £30,225 (2012), £27,255* (2013), Sales: 23

Nissan Leaf: £25,990 (2012), £20,990 (2013), Sales: 825

Renault Fluence**: £17,850 (2012), £17,845 (2013), Sales: 7

Vauxhall Ampera: £32,250 (2012), £28,750 (2013), Sales: 150

The sales champ, the Nissan LEAF, managed only a meager 825 sales in the first 6 months of 2013.  If we compare that to the US’ 9,839 LEAFs sold in the first half of 2013, we see there’s a significant difference.  Now, you may be thinking that 825 is a solid figure given the size of the UK’s automotive market, but it’s just not.  It would be a decent number if the other 3 vehicles listed above sold at approximately the same 825-unit volume, but none of the others listed even come close.

You could certainly run all the numbers for yourself to see where the UK stands in Europe in terms of plug-in vehicle market share, but we’ll tell you right now that you’ll be disappointed to learn that the UK is far behind most of its nearby neighbors.

Source: Autocar

Categories: Chevrolet, Nissan, Opel / Vauxhall, Renault

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6 Comments on "UK Still Lagging Behind in Plug-In Vehicle Purchases"

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I blame it on the Top Gear airheads.

the ampera is so sick wish they had it here in US

The Renault Zoe is missing in the list.

I was thinking the same

Indeed – but I expect it was because it only launched in June this year, and these results are for the first half year. For example, I reserved mine in May 2012 but it was only delivered in July this year.


The Volt/Ampera price drop has only just happened and it’s still a lot of money for brands that don’t have great street cred here. You’ll see loads of BMWs, Audis and Mercs, I think the BMW i3 will do surprisingly well.

Also as vdiv has pointed out Top Gear has been rubbishing EVs for years and it has a large following. It’s going to take time to reverse. I really hope when the Tesla Model S comes over here that Top Gear to get to test it somehow and that they give a fair review, some hope.