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‘Alternative fuel’ vehicle sales accelerate to new record market share

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Sales of ‘alternative fuel’ vehicles (AFVs) have got off to a flying start in 2017 and set a new record for percentage share of the market, The Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders has said.

Releasing its sales figures for January 2017, the SMMT revealed that of 174,564 new vehicles registered throughout the month a total of 7,279 were alternatively fuelled, a category which includes electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Such figures – up nearly 20% year-on-year – were enough to secure AFVs a 4.2% share of the market; the first time the category has secured market share above 4%.

Growth in AFVs appears to have come at the expense of diesel-fuelled vehicles which witnessed a 4.3% contraction in year-on-year sales in the opening month of 2017.

Mike Hawes, chief executive at the SMMT, said it was a “good start” to the new car market with vehicles that are “safer and cleaner than ever before”.

“It’s encouraging to see alternatively fuelled vehicles benefiting from this positive growth, reaching a record market share. After record growth in 2016, some cooling is anticipated over the coming months, but provided interest rates remain low and the economy stable, the market is in a good position to withstand its short-term challenges,” he added. 

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