Leasing company Alphabet has announced it supplied one-in-10 plug-in hybrids eligible for the Plug-In Car Grant in 2016.

The total number of ultra-low emission vehicles on the company’s books reached 7,000 at the end of last year, a 220% increase on 2015’s figures.

Despite a 22.2% increase in national registrations to 88,819 units last year, alternatively powered cars are still very much a niche choice, making up just 3.3% of the 2016 UK new car market, according to SMMT statistics.

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was 2016’s best-selling ULEV, with 9,448 units registered, followed by the Mercedes C Class plug-in on 5,392 and the all-electric Nissan Leaf in third with 4,661 registrations.

“Alphabet has a strategic commitment to deliver more sustainable mobility solutions for corporates, public sector organisations, SMEs and employees,” said David Bushnell, product manager for Alphabet. “So our support of ULEVs is a practical demonstration of this approach, reflecting our customers’ appetite for these vehicles as an important part of their fleets.

“Over the 12 months of 2016, Alphabet’s ‘vehicle parc’ of EVs and PHEVs in the UK saw phenomenal growth more than doubling in size – and our customer order bank continues to grow,” he added.