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Sharp rise in plug-in electric cars on the road

Ownership of alternatively fuelled vehicles increased by almost 30% last year, and there are now more than 620,000 hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric cars in use.

That’s according to data compiled by the official motor industry trade association, the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders.

The SMMT’s study also shows that, within the alternative fuels sector, plug-in electric cars are seeing the biggest rate of growth.The number of plug-in cars on our roads increased by 76% last year, to a record 195,410 vehicles, as the number of models available for customers to buy continues to grow.

What’s more, today’s cars are more efficient than ever and average CO2 emissions have fallen to the lowest on record, as car buyers continue to invest in the latest low emission technology – whether petrol, diesel or alternative fuels.

CO2 emissions from cars are now actually 17.8% lower than they were a decade ago, the SMMT claims, due to manufacturer investment in advanced powertrains, transmission types, lightweight materials and aerodynamics.

“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,” SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said.“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.”