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Mitsubishi Outlander tops of the 'ultra-green' car league

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

The Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid has extended its lead over the pure battery-electric Nissan Leaf to remain the most common ultra-low carbon car on the UK's roads.

Analysis by the RAC Foundation of the latest DVLA data shows there were 29,408 Outlanders on the road at the end of June 2017, up 1,731 on the previous quarter.

This compares with the 17,352 Leafs, up 851 on the previous quarter.

Third came the Mercedes-Benz C350 e (7,629), followed by the BMW i3 (7,597) and the BMW 330e (6,039).

Overall, at the end of June 2017, there were 105,745 licensed vehicles on the roads that are or have been eligible for the government’s plug-in car and van grant schemes.

This total is 59% higher than the 66,375 vehicles on the roads at the end of June 2016.

Under the government’s plug-in grant schemes, car buyers can get a grant of up to £4,500, depending on the model, and van buyers a grant of up to £8,000.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “The figures reveal a steady take up of ultra-green cars, but they also underline the fragility of the market. Of some 31 million cars on the UK’s roads, just 0.3% are ultra-low carbon.

“Encouragingly, the range of vehicles available for the public to buy continues to expand which demonstrates the automotive industry’s collective determination to offer people an alternative to petrol and diesel vehicles.”


Top 10 vehicles that are, or have been, eligible for the government’s plug-in car and van grant schemes and which were on the road in the UK at the end of Q2 2017 (the most recent date for which figures are available):




Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

(all variants)


Nissan Leaf


Mercedes-Benz C350 e


BMW i3

(of which are Range Extenders)


BMW 330e


Tesla Model S


Renault Zoe


Volkswagen Golf GTE




Volvo Xc90 T8 Twin Engine

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  • Gordy - 22/09/2017 13:04

    This is amazing! What are the REAL WORLD emissions and fuel economy figures for the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV? How far will it travel by battery alone if you charge the battery from flat to full (1 hour on a rapid charger for 20 miles electric range - is this true?). What have we done by allowing this and other hybrids through the net? Surely pure EV should be the only tax free and subsidised vehicle type. It's not perfect but at least the emissions are at the power station and not in the cities (lungs).

    • Bob the Engineer - 22/09/2017 17:49

      1 hour rapid charge for 20 miles is not right! its only 20 minutes (Rapids only go to 80% to protect the battery), and no one uses them any more (Even normal EV drivers don't) as the owners charge far too much now. The Outlander PHEV is not tax free and the subsidy was reduced considerably so its no longer makes much difference. Real world? I did a 170 mile round trip out to Cardiff in mine yesterday and it ended up back on the drive showing 42.6 mpg. I only did about a 35 miles round trip today, averaged 80mpg because the battery covered most of it and as I used battery power through the High Streets no one breathed in any fumes from me. Its now the weekend which means endless short trips, shopping, kids to activities, as its always plugged in and recharging when parked we won't use any petrol and electric miles only cost about 2p instead of 12p so saving a few quid. Really people shouldn't get hysterical about hybrids if they know nothing about them. They don't suit everyone, that is for sure. But those it does get fed up of perpetually being tarred with the same brush. Talk to a responsible owner before judging!

  • Nigel Boyle - 25/09/2017 11:10

    It may be the most common, but is certainly not the most green. It is a marketing contrick with the petrol engine guzzling fuel most of the time. The Leaf wins.

  • Nigel Boyle - 25/09/2017 11:13

    Clearly not a green car, just a marketing contrick. The Leaf Wins.

  • 200mpg, for 20 miles, then 20 mpg - 26/09/2017 11:37

    For a traditional higher mileage company car driver, PHEVs, and in particular a mid-sized SUV with all the weight and aerodynamic penalties that come with it are not "green" at all. (Lexus take note!!) They are a way for individuals to lower their own tax whilst passing on the costs of horrendous fuel consumption to their employer. The advertised MPG is as fictitious as the low CO2 figure, it's about time real world figures were used for PHEVs and hybrids as most are only efficient in specific circumstances. (such as the idiots in hybrids doing 60MPH on motorways)

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