For the first time, alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) now make up more than 4% of all new cars sold.
The milestone was broken in January as the segment swelled by 19.9% to take a record 4.2% of the market share.
That’s up from 3.6% last year, according to new figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Traditional fuel types saw a more mixed picture, with diesel registrations down 4.3% but petrol car purchases up by 8.9%.
The new car market achieved a 12-year high in January, with a total of 174,564 vehicles leaving showrooms. This represents year-on-year growth of 2.9%.
Mike Hawes, CEO of the SMMT, said: “2017 got off to a good start in the new car market, buoyed by a great range of new models which are safer and cleaner than ever before. It’s encouraging to see alternatively fuelled vehicles benefiting from this positive growth, reaching a record market share.”