Fleet News

Mitsubishi Outlander continues to dominate electric vehicle market

Fleet news logo

The Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid continues to dominate the ultra-low carbon car and van league table with 21,708 of the vehicles licensed in the UK at the end of Q2 2016.

The Outlander makes up 33% of the total of 66,374 plug-in grant eligible vehicles on the road.

In second place after the Outlander comes the pure battery-electric Nissan Leaf at 12,837.

In third place is the BMW i3 (4,457) which is available with a choice of drive trains: pure battery electric or a range extended version (where a petrol internal combustion engine is used to recharge the battery on long journeys).

The Renault Zoe (4,339) is fourth most common, followed by the Mercedes-Benz C350e (3,337) which has leapt ahead of the Tesla Model S (3,312) and Volkswagen Golf GTE (2,657) to take fifth place.

The Outlander, Mercedes-Benz C350e and BMW 330e were the only three cars to increase their licensed numbers by more than a 1,000 in Q2 2016.

Four of the five vehicles with the highest growth in licensed numbers over the quarter were plug-in hybrid (PHEV) versions of regular cars:

Mitsubishi Outlander (PHEV) – 1,763 increase

2)     Mercedes-Benz C350e (PHEV) – 1,439

3)     BMW 330e (PHEV) – 1,113

4)     Golf GTE (PHEV) – 687

5)     Tesla S (pure battery powered) - 486

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “Getting more clean vehicles on the road is crucial to help tackle both climate change and poor air quality yet while there are a record 31.6 million cars on the UK’s roads, just 0.2% are ultra-green.

“At the start of the month MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee said they had no confidence in the UK achieving its long-term goals for greening the car fleet.

“Car companies selling ultra-green vehicles will be looking at these figures closely. On 1 March the maximum grant dropped from £5,000 per car to £4,500 and because of a new tiered system, some grants – including those for the Outlander – are now no more than £2,500.

“In a rapidly evolving, but still fledgling market it is hard to discern trends but with the plug-in car grant scheme due for another revision within six months the concern must be that the market will remain fragile, and so we are quite some way from being able to drop the grants completely.

“One hopeful sign is that there is an ever increasing number of green vehicles in the showroom and some manufacturers like VW have publicly pinned their hopes on alternatively-fuelled cars.”

On 1 September 2016 the Environmental Audit Committee published its report on Sustainability in the Department for Transport:

Mary Creagh MP, chair of the Committee, said: "The uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles like electric cars, is too low to meet the UK's climate change targets at the lowest cost to the public. Air quality targets that were supposed to be met in 2010 won't be hit until 2020 at the earliest. And it's been almost a year since we discovered VW had fitted cars with cheat devices, but government has still to decide what action to take against the company."

Click here for electric cars and hybrids best practice and procurement insight

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Login to comment


  • Jerry - 14/09/2016 11:39

    If the manufacturer gave us more access to 330e we'd sell more of them into the corporate arena. Lead times are currently 6 months and this is far too long for a customer to wait for a new car as many expect a 12 week delivery from order.

    • James - 13/10/2016 12:20

      Jerry - lead time is currently early Q1 2017, definitely not 6 months. Check with your supplying retailer for more info.

  • John Davidge - 14/09/2016 12:35

    Whilst i did consider the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV on renewing my car recently, once electric-only mileage is used up this vehicle reverts to say 35mpg. My Toyota Prius PHEV has a lower electric-only range but when that is exhausted, in 'normal' hybrid mode i'm on 60-65 mpg. Not a difficult decision to make based in cost. To date I've travelled 2,000 miles in 'electric-only at say 2p/mile, and 8,000 miles at 8p/mile - aside from the beneficial BIK figures compared with my previous cars.

    • bob the engineer - 16/09/2016 17:18

      I did a 170 miles today, obviously a lot further than my battery range, I ended up doing 46mpg mostly on petrol. Less than your Prius but carrying a lot more gear than your Prius could and without the wingeing engine racket!

  • Miccon - 14/09/2016 14:31

    So, with a third of total sales and hence on top of the ultra low carbon car and van league table, sits an 4WD, SUV with a relatively ancient drivetrain and weighing over 2 tonnes. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is more an exercise in reducing tax than reducing real-world emissions.

  • Martin Winlow - 15/09/2016 08:34

    Lets not get self-delusional here. The only reason these plug-in hybrids are so popular is because they get around the London congestion zone charge. Both Mitsubishi and BMW admit that the vast majority of their PIH drivers never plug in. And the fraud is not helped by headlines like the one above, falsely implying to the uneducated that PIHs are actually 'electric cars'. The government are living in la-la land if they think supporting PIHs with generous grants is doing anything other than putting vast amounts of money into the pockets of its industry supporters. People are never going to make the transition to truly exhaust pipe emission-free vehicles as long as they can get away with wearing their 'range-extending' safety blanket. HMG have got to stop messing about with this issue and start spending the vast amounts of money they already are - to practically zero effect - on schemes that will really encourage people to buy*electric* vehicles. For starters this means a properly thought out and well funded rapid DC charging system that, as well as providing the EV driver with the means to deal with the unusual deviation from their normal day's driving, also allows the 40% of motorists without off-street parking to charge their vehicles. The pathetic situation at the moment of on-street low power charging points is utterly hopeless as the usage statistics show they are hard ever used. And why would they be? Who in their right mind is going to leave home in an EV without certain knowledge that they will be able to get home again without having to rely on a street-side charging post that may be in use, broken or ICE'd (blocked by a non-EV)? Also required is some form of financial incentive other than just handing the EV maker what is effectively a blank cheque. I would favour some form of low interest rate loan or tax rebate. Quite why car loans are still at 6 or more percent when the BOE base rate is practically zero just demonstrates quite how outrageously morally corrupt the whole system is. What has become very clear is that you cannot convince motorists to abandon fossil fuel-powered vehicles on the basis of morality alone. So, the only option is to make it worth their while financially, so much so that it hurts.

    • bob the engineer - 16/09/2016 17:24

      I think we are already there! company car tax and the ramp up of rates is ludicrously disproportionate to the benefit for many users. The good old cash cow. I would like company car tax scrapped for some sort of levvy on private miles driven in a company funded car which would represent true 'benefit' and leave alone essential for job users.

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee