UK hybrid sales will exceed plug-in demand

UK hybrid sales will dwarf those of battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles as automakers work to meet ever-increasing emissions requirements during the next decade. The prediction was reported in Motor Trades Insight can came from a RAC (Royal Automobile Club) Foundation study.

What does the RAC expect? Well, that hybrids could account for up to 50 percent of all the new cars sold in 2030. Meanwhile, annual plug-in sales by 2020 could hit 200,000, or about 10 percent of the number of cars sold in the UK last year. Plug-in sales may be spurred by a combination of lower vehicle costs and further tightening of emissions standards. Either way, just 3,600 electric cars have been sold in the UK since the government instituted plug-in subsidies of £5,000 ($7,700) per vehicle.

No model illustrates the hybrid/plug-in disparity better than the Toyota Prius. In the UK last year, the Japanese automaker sold almost 13,000 Prius hybrids. The number for Prius Plug-in sales since that model debuted in the UK last July was a bit smaller: just 470.