Vantage Leasing, the personal and business contract hire company, saw a 700% increase in demand at its business for plug-in vehicles last year.
Premium brand models made up the majority of the new plug-in vehicle contracts.
The Range Rover Sport PHEV was the most popular option, accounting for 60% of all plug-in hybrid models. Even more surprisingly, it was also the most popular version of the car, making up 59% of all Range Rover Sport lease contracts in 2019.
The data points to a huge surge in plug-in vehicle interest and Vantage Leasing has now launched an ‘EV Chooser’ tool that compares key metrics for EVs – including range, price and efficiency.
Vantage Leasing has also created its own EV ranking based on how vehicles fair across those criteria, with the Skoda CITIGOe IV coming out on top.
BMW Group’s plug-in models performed particularly well. The second-most popular PHEV was the BMW 5 Series, closely followed by the BMW 3 Series and MINI Countryman. Plug-in derivatives accounted for 30% of 3 Series lease contracts and 67% of Countryman contracts.
Other strong performers included the Volvo XC90, with double the number of Twin Engine plug-in hybrid models leased in 2019 compared with 2018.
Although full-electric vehicles (EVs) made up a smaller percentage of overall contracts, there was a huge percentage increase in electric car lease contracts year-on-year.
The BMW i3 – one of the most established electric cars on the market – was the biggest winner, accounting for half of all Vantage Leasing’s new EV lease contracts in 2019.
Recently launched models were the next most popular choices, with the Kia e-Niro, Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model 3 making out the rest of the list.
The Vantage Leasing data mirrors the shift towards electrified vehicles seen in the retail market, with recent Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) figures revealing that sales of new EVs increased by 144% during 2019. As charging infrastructure improves and new models with longer range reach the market during 2020, Vantage Leasing expects the overall percentage of EVs to increase dramatically.
Rob Walker, Vantage Leasing managing director, said: “Our new data proves the electric revolution has started.
“The huge increase in demand for EV and PHEV models that we’ve seen over the past 12 months highlights the way that the leasing market is changing rapidly.
“We’re excited to be a part of that and we want to help our customers make the transition as smoothly as possible. That’s why we offer a wide range of EV and PHEV models, and why we created an EV chooser tool that helps our customers choose the plug-in model that’s right for them.”