Newly published Vehicle Licensing Statistics have revealed that the number of electric cars has more than tripled in Q3 compared to the same period in 2018, increasing by 234%
According to the Department for Transport’s quarterly statistics, 22,596 ULEVs were registered in Great Britain between July and September - an increase of 39% on 2018 Q3 and 56% on 2017 Q3.
The number of diesel cars registered for the first time declined by 16% in Q3 compared to previous year, to the lowest number since 2001.
There have now been three successive years of double digit percentage point declines for diesel cars, which has seen the share of new diesel car registrations falling to 25% in 2019 Q3 from 47% in 2016 Q3.
There was a 27% increase in the number of alternative fuel cars over the same period.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "With the number of battery electric cars tripling and diesel cars at their lowest number in almost two decades, it’s clear that the journey to the road to zero has begun. However, I know there's a long way to travel yet.
“That is why we are investing over £1.5bn to charge up this electric car revolution, I will continue our drive to make clean cars the new normal.”
For the year ending September 2019, the most common generic model of ULEV registered for the first time in the UK was the Mitsubishi Outlander with 7,959 vehicles, followed by the BMW 5 Series with 6,096 vehicles and the Tesla Model 3 with 5,527 vehicles.
The most popular new car models in Great Britain in 2019 Q3 were the Ford Fiesta (21,000), the Vauxhall Corsa (17,000), and the Volkswagen Golf (15,000).
At the end of September 2019, there were 38.9 million licensed vehicles - an increase of 1.3% compared to the end of September 2018.
The number of new registrations was 1.0% lower than during 2018 Q3 and 9.3% lower than during 2017 Q3. More than half (55%) of new registrations in 2019 Q3 occurred in September, largely due to the release of “69” registration plates.
Cars make up the majority of new registrations, accounting for 79.6% of all new registrations in 2019 Q3. Cars registered for the first time declined by 0.5% in 2019 Q3 compared to 2018 Q3. Bus and coach registrations fell by 15.6% over the same period, continuing a long term trend following a reduction in minibus registrations.
Both light and heavy goods vehicles saw a large decrease of 3.6% and 10.7% respectively. The decrease for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) was likely affected by the large increase in the previous quarter ahead of the introduction of mandatory smart tachographs.