Growth in sales of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) both in the UK and Europe has been welcomed by the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA).

AFV registrations figures released by ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association) show AFVs have been continuously performing well since last year and totalled 154,795 units in the first quarter of 2016.

Electric Vehicles (EVs) recorded the strongest rise of 26.8%, backed by the growth of battery (33.9%) as well as plug-in electric vehicles (23.5%). Spain saw the largest increase in AFV registrations over the last quarter (+51.9%), followed by France (+28.7%), the UK (+23.7%) and Germany (+13.0%), whilst Italy saw a decline (-12.9%).

“It is reassuring to see that AFV registrations continued to grow in Europe by 6.4% compared to last year,” said NFDA director Sue Robinson.

“It is encouraging to see that the AFVs registrations in the UK saw a double digit growth recording one of the best performances among the largest European markets.

“In the first quarter of 2016 hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) totalled 15,075 registrations in the UK compared to 12,115 in the same period last year, while Electric Vehicles (EVs) rose to 10,639 from 8,670 in Q1 2015.

“Considering that AFVs sales seem set to continue to increase we are pleased to see that the UK is playing a key role in this segment of the market.”