Motorists in the West Midlands emerged as the keenest adopters of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) as registrations of electric cars reached their highest-ever levels in H1 2017.
AFV campaign body Go Ultra Low highlighted that more than 22,400 plug-in models were registered between January and June 2017, a rise of 14.3% on 2016 and 53.8% up on the same period in 2015.
June exceeded all previous non-plate-change months with 4,405 new plug-in models sold during the month (33% up on June 2016).
Demand for electric cars from private buyers has driven growth, with 44.9% more consumers opting for plug-in hybrid and electric power between January and June 2017, compared with the same period last year.
Transport minister Jesse Norman said: “It is great to see that electric and plug-in hybrid cars are helping more UK motorists to cut fuel costs and emissions.
“The total number of plug-in cars on our roads is at record levels, with the latest figures showing that there are now over 100,000 plug-in cars and vans registered in the UK.
“Our aim is that nearly all cars and vans on our roads are zero-emission by 2050.”
The Nissan Leaf was the best-selling of the UK’s plug-in electric cars in the first six months of 2017, while BMW’s plug-in hybrid 3-Series saloon was one of the year’s biggest growers, rising 79.9% following its launch last year.
Poppy Welch, head of Go Ultra Low, said: “Month after month we’re seeing record levels of registrations, demonstrating that the public awareness and appetite for electric and plug-in vehicles is growing.”
Some 2,704 of the AFV registrations recorded in the first half of the year were in the West Midlands.
Greater London (2,477) and Cambridgeshire (1,928) also made the top three regions.
Greater London also saw the biggest year-on-year increase in areas registering more than 1,000 plug-in electric cars, with registrations up 68.6% on the first half of 2016.