What does the RAC expect? Well, that hybrids could account for up to 50 percent of all the new cars sold in 2030. Meanwhile, annual plug-in sales by 2020 could hit 200,000, or about 10 percent of the number of cars sold in the UK last year. Plug-in sales may be spurred by a combination of lower vehicle costs and further tightening of emissions standards. Either way, just 3,600 electric cars have been sold in the UK since the government instituted plug-in subsidies of £5,000 ($7,700) per vehicle.
No model illustrates the hybrid/plug-in disparity better than the Toyota Prius. In the UK last year, the Japanese automaker sold almost 13,000 Prius hybrids. The number for Prius Plug-in sales since that model debuted in the UK last July was a bit smaller: just 470.