Electric and hybrid sales received a massive boost in the first month of 2019 with an increase in sales of 26.3 per cent over January last year.
Figures released by the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders showed that 11,014 alternatively-fuelled vehicles were registered last month compared to just 8,719 units for the same month in 2018 – with the market share also increasing from 5.3 per cent up to 6.8 per cent.
This growth came despite the overall car market suffering a blip to start 2019, as it dropped 1.6 per cent compared to January 2018 from 163,615 down to 161,013 registrations.
As has been the trend for several months now, diesel car sales suffered as they dropped by 20.3 per cent on last January and the fuel type’s market share fell from 35.9 per cent down to 29.1 per cent.
Petrol sales continued to grow, as drivers registered 103,176 models this January compared to 96,183 in 2018.
But as private sales grew by 2.9 per cent, that increase couldn’t offset fleet and business sales dropping by 3.4 and 33.5 per cent respectively.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “It’s encouraging to see car registrations in January broadly on par with a year ago as the latest high tech models and deals attracted buyers into showrooms.
“This, however, is still the fifth consecutive month of overall decline in the market. To restore momentum, we need supportive policies, not least on vehicle taxation, to encourage buyers to invest in new, cleaner vehicles that best suit their driving needs – from the latest petrols and diesels to an ever growing range of exciting electrified vehicles. This would be good for the environment and good for the industry and those who depend on it.”
Ford had two models at the top of the sales charts, with the Fiesta and Focus receiving 5,399 and 4,397 registrations respectively. The Nissan Qashqai was third with 4,270 sales.