By Debbie Holden 16 Apr 2019 5 min read

76% rise in plug-in electric car ownership in 2018


The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) released new Motorparc data yesterday, showing there was a record 195,410 plug-in electric vehicles on UK roads, after registrations increased by 76.6% in 2018.


Ownership of alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) increased by almost 30%, with over 620,00 now in use, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric cars.


The data also showed that CO2 emissions dropped by 17.8%, the lowest on record.


The UK’s car fleet, now standing at a record 34.9 million, had never been more diverse. There were over 16000 model ranges and almost 68,000 different specifications on the roads in 2018.


Supermini’s continued to dominate, making up 33.2% of all cars in the parc, while dual vehicles saw the largest growth, up 10.6%. Family hatches and upper medium saloons saw the biggest drop, down -4.7% to four million.


The top model owned in UK was the Ford Fiesta. In 2018, 1,600,934 were on the road. Ford Focus took second place, and the Vauxhall Corsa took third place.  


Car colours in the Uk appeared to follow trends seen in the new car market in 2018, with black coming out on top, at 20.1%. Silver followed in second place, and blue took third.


SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “Thanks to massive investment from manufacturers in delivering a wide range of models across all fuel types, to suit all driving needs, environmental gains are now being delivered across the UK.


“Ever-more advanced in technology makes every new generation of vehicle more efficient than the last, and this is filtering rapidly from the new car market into the broader parc.

“Fleet renewal is proven to work, so we need a world-class package of incentives and infrastructure to give motorists the confidence to buy the latest, cleanest cars, whatever the fuel type, in the greater numbers we need to meet environmental challenges.”

The SMMT Motorparc database has more than 23 years of historical data. Its rich automotive data enables the analysis of records for almost 40 million cars and commercial vehicles currently on the road, broken down by make, model, region, town and postcode.