The latest registration figures for plug-in vehicles have confirmed that the government’s ultra-low emission incentive scheme is failing to ignite the market.

Newly-published DVLA data shows that registrations of plug-in-grant eligible cars grew by just 14% in the first half of 2013, compared to the previous six months. This is less than the 17% growth achieved by the overall new car market.

Meanwhile, registrations of plug-in-grant eligible vans actually fell by 27%, with just 119 registered in the first half of 2013 compared to the 163 registered in the second half of 2012.

"These figures show that the current strategy for driving uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles is not working," said BVRLA chief executive, Gerry Keaney.

"The fleet market buys more than half of all new vehicles registered each year and operates the greenest cars and vans on UK roads. As bulk purchasers, fleet operators could create a huge surge in demand for plug-in vehicles if they were given the right package of incentives. Unfortunately, the current tax regime actually encourages many fleets not to run plug-in vehicles.

"The government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) recently launched its new strategy and announced that it would look to develop a ’strong, clear and lasting’ set of tax incentives. This work cannot happen soon enough."

The BVRLA has consistently campaigned for plug-in-grant vehicle users to be offered longer-term, in-use incentives, for example a ten-year road tax exemption, free parking and financial support when installing charging points at work premises.