Campaigners have hailed a record year for electric and plug-in car registrations in the UK.

Go Ultra Low, a joint government and car industry campaign encouraging motorists to consider electric vehicles, said 2017 saw “unprecedented demand” for the vehicles, with 46,522 registrations, an increase of more than 27% on the previous year.

This included more than 13,000 pure electric cars and more than 33,000 plug-in hybrids.

2017 was the sixth year in a row that an annual rise in registrations was recorded.

According to Go Ultra Low, the figures suggest that in 2018 annual registrations could reach 60,000 for the first time.

In total, there are now more than 130,000 electric and plug-in hybrid cars on UK roads.

The highest number of registrations was recorded in London, where they rose 42% to 9,274, and in eastern England, where they rose 21% to 8,685.

The biggest percentage increases were recorded in south-west England, with a 140% jump, and in Scotland, where registrations rose by 70%. 

Poppy Welch, head of Go Ultra Low, said: “2017 was a stellar year for electric vehicle registrations with strong growth, demonstrating the massive consumer appetite for 100% electric and plug-in hybrid cars.

“There are already more than 130,000 electric vehicles on UK roads, a figure that could pass 190,000 this year as new models come to market and consumers reap the cost-saving benefits of electric driving.”