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Number of electric vehicles on the UK's roads outnumbers plug-in hybrids for first time

Number of electric vehicles on the UK's roads outnumbers plug-in hybrids for first time

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A critical point has been passed in the UK’s motoring road towards zero-emission driving.

A critical point has been passed in the UK’s motoring road towards zero-emission driving, as the number of electric vehicles on the roads has surpassed plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) for the first time. 


Analysis by the RAC has found that there are now 332,299 electric vehicles on the road compared with 327,183 PHEVs. It follows on from a record month for EV registrations, which saw 32,721 battery-powered models sold during September. It compares with 21,903 in the same month last year. 


Fully electric cars now make up 50.4 per cent of plug-in vehicles, up from 46.3 per cent a year ago. It’s a crucial milestone as plug-in hybrid cars have traditionally been seen as stepping-stone vehicles, giving people the option of zero-emissions driving along with the safety net of a petrol or diesel engine. So given that the number of fully electric models outpaces PHEVs shows that more people are opting for full EVs instead.


RAC director of EVs Sarah Winward-Kotecha said: “Against a backdrop of generally poor new car sales, September was a milestone month when it came to battery-electric models. Nearly as many were sold in one month as were sold throughout the whole of 2019, and the figures suggest they are now a more common sight on the UK’s roads than plug-in hybrids.


“Sales of electric cars have also eclipsed diesel sales by a huge margin with three battery-electric cars sold for every one new diesel car that went onto the road. This now looks like the end of the road for diesel as nearly 67,000 fewer diesel cars were registered this September than was the case in September 2019, representing an astonishing 86 per cent drop in just two years.”

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