Plug-in and electric car registrations reached a record high in 2015, as 28,188 new ultra low emission vehicles (ULEV) arrived on UK roads - more than the past five years' totals combined.

The switch to electric car power marked a 94% annual rise compared to the previous year - while the popularity of plug-in vehicles shows no sign of slowing with an even greater selection of ULEVs due to be launched in 2016.

Only 21,486 ULEVs were registered between 2010 and 2014, signalling that plug-in power is becoming a mainstream option for drivers alongside petrol and diesel powered cars.

The three top-ranked ultra low emission cars for 2015 are the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (11,681), the Nissan LEAF (5,236), and BMW i3 (2,213). The Outlander PHEV saw a year-on-year growth from 2014 of 118%.

A greater choice of models, with 30 hybrid or plug-in electric car models now available is fuelling the demand, and Transport Minister Andrew Jones MP said: "The UK has one of the fastest growing ultra-low emission vehicle markets in the world and these record figures show more and more people across the country are enjoying the benefits of this cheap-to-run and green technology.

"British drivers have a wider chance of vehicles than ever before and we have increased our support for plug-in vehicles to £600 million over the next five years to cut emissions, create jobs and support our cutting-edge industries."

Government officials anticipate that 5% of new car registrations (around 100,000 units) will be ultra low emission by 2020 - an expectation that appears on track in light of recent growth.

As more motorists look to manage running costs, a money-saving end goal could be providing the momentum for the surge in electric car popularity.

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The analysis for 2015's record breaking sales comes from government and motor-industry-backed Go Ultra Low, whose campaign to increase purchase consideration of ultra-low emission vehicles by helping motorists understand the benefits, cost savings and capabilities of the wide range ULEVs on the market seems to be going from strength to strength.

Head of Go Ultra Low, Poppy Welch, said: "This sustained level of growth represents how plug-in vehicles are becoming the norm for drivers who want to buy a fun, economical, stylish new car.

"Now, instead of facing high running costs, motorists can reap the rewards of an economical ultra low emission vehicle, which can save the typical car owner hundreds of pounds every year.

"With this growth showing no signs of stopping, it's proof that electric car ownership is the new normal. Now, it's not a question of will motorists choose electrics, but when."

The South East of England (9,186) proved to be the region that saw the most new electric car registrations, followed by the South West (4,420) in second and the West Midlands in third (3,371).

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