9.8.2012 Green car sales on the rise in 2012
According to figures from the SMMT, the number of alternatively fuelled car registrations rocketed last month, in line with a general increase in vehicle sales.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) report that alternatively fuelled vehicle registrations in July rose by almost a half compared to July 2011's figures, increasing by 45.9% up to 2,079 units. Year-to-date alternatively fuelled vehicle registrations have risen to around 17,000 units, almost an 18% rise on 2011.
Petrol electric hybrid sales are rising due to both increased interest and a wider range of models being offered from manufacturers. The launch of several diesel electric hybrids from manufacturers such as Peugeot and Citroen has also gathered interest among consumers, boosting sales. Diesel electric hybrids have accounted for 640 sales this year-to-date, between only a handful of available models.
Electric or plug-in cars are up around 20% this year, but numbers are still reasonably low – 942 Plug-in Car Grant registrations have been made this year so far, compared to 782 by this time in 2011. These increases in sales volumes are however occurring in line with a general boost in the UK car market – new car registrations rose 9.3% in July to 143,884 units, the fifth monthly gain in a row and the best of 2012.
The "intense competition" for manufacturers is proving good for drivers, said the SMMT. Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive said: "International economic stability remains a concern for vehicle manufacturers and the UK market, but intense competition and new fuel efficient products are creating great opportunities for motorists."
Sales of alternatively fuelled vehicles have also been strong in the US. The most popular plug-in vehicle has been the Chevrolet Volt, which achieved an impressive 1,849 sales in July 2012 alone, and 10,666 units this year so far.
Although it must be recognised that sales of vehicles powered by an alternative sources are rising with a general increase in new car sales in the UK, it is important that absolute volumes of electric and hybrid car sales are increasing. As electric and hybrid cars become a more familiar sight on the roads, interest in new technologies is likely to continue to grow.
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