A plug-in car was sold in the UK every 13 minutes during the first three months of 2016, as the market saw its best sales quarter ever and 23% growth on the same period a year ago.

On average, more than 115 plug-in cars were registered for use in the UK every day between 1 January and 31 March. A total of 10,496 plug-in cars were sold in the UK during the first quarter of 2016.

A plug-in car is one which is either fully electric like a Tesla, or is a hybrid which is in part powered by an electric motor, such as the BMW i8.

Analysis conducted by Go Ultra Low and new registrations data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) found plug-in car sales are ahead of schedule and are set to exceed 2015's total. In that year alone, the number of plug-in vehicles registered on UK roads was greater than during the previous five years combined.

Through the Plug-In Car Grant scheme, buyers of such cars are eligible to a £5,000 rebate from the government as an incentive to get more environmentally friendly cars on the road.

UK a "world leader" in electric car adoption

The latest figures cement the UK's position as the largest major market for electric and plug-in hybrid cars in Europe. In the past 12 months the UK has seen 28,617 new plug-in car registrations, representing one fifth of all electric vehicles sold in the European Union.

Transport minister Andrew Jones said: "These record figures show that hundreds of people every week are coming round to the fact that plug-in cars are cleaner, greener and cheaper to run. The UK is a world leader in the uptake of low-emission vehicles and our long-term economic plan is investing £600 million by 2020 to improve air quality, create jobs and achieve our goal of every new car and van in the UK being ultra-low emission by 2040."