The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is still the most popular ultra-low emissions (ULEV) car on UK roads, according to the RAC Foundation.

A total of 32,048 models were sold in 2017 according to DVLA figures sourced by the organisation, which means the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV maintains its position as the country’s best-selling plug-in vehicle.

The all-electric Nissan Leaf was second most popular ULEV of 2017, having sold 19,624 units, followed by the BMW 330e with 9,143 sales.

The BMW i3 (both the standard and ‘S’ models) was fourth at 9,024 units and the Mercedes-Benz C350e with 8,867.

According to the RAC Foundation, 126,857 cars and vans eligible for the government’s plug-in grant schemes were sold in the final quarter of 2017.

It claimed this was an increase of 9% on quarter three of 2017, in which 116,534 such models were registered, and 52% higher than the fourth quarter of 2016, at 83,224 units.

The organisation also named the five ultra-low emission cars that saw the biggest increase in registrations between quarter three and quarter four of 2017. They are:

Mini Countryman PHEV: up 154.99% and 575 units

BMW 530e: up 61.50% and 722 units

Volkswagen Passat GTE: up 47.34% and 516 units

Audi Q7 e-tron: up 34.62% and 90 units

Hyundai Ioniq EV: up 27.62% and 66 units

“These numbers show there has been solid, if not explosive, growth in the ultra-low emission car market, with some reports suggesting that public demand is outstripping the ability of the auto companies to supply enough of the latest models,” said Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation.

“Of the grant-eligible vehicles on the road the plug-in hybrids continue to outnumber the pure battery-electric cars, at the end of 2017 by three to two.

“Crucially, those drivers looking to visit the showrooms in the coming months, tempted by the new models on offer, will be asking whether the current level of government grant will be maintained and for how long.”