According to figures from the SMMT, alternatively Fuelled Vehicle (AFV) demand continued to rise, up 36.9 per cent to 8,244 registrations in October.
However, the diesel segment took its biggest hit yet, with demand down -29.9 per cent.
Petrol models meanwhile enjoyed a more modest growth of 2.7 per cent.
The UK new car market overall declined for a seventh consecutive month in October, with 158,192 new units registered. Demand fell by -12.2% in the month, as falling confidence among buyers continued to impact the market.
Declines were seen across all sectors, with business and fleet demand down -26.8% and -13.0% respectively. Meanwhile, dealers reported -10.1% fewer private buyers taking delivery of new cars in the month.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Declining business and consumer confidence is undoubtedly affecting demand in the new car market but this is being compounded by confusion over government policy on diesel. Consumers need urgent reassurance that the latest, low emission diesel cars on sale will not face any bans, charges or other restrictions, anywhere in the UK. We urge the Government to use the forthcoming Autumn Budget to restore stability to the market, encouraging the purchase of the latest low emission vehicles as fleet renewal is the fastest and most effective way of addressing air quality concerns.”