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Hybrid more popular than electric cars as petrol and diesel car sales decline

Hybrid cars have beaten sales of electric cars in the last nine months while the sales of new pure petrol and diesel-powered cars declined by eight per cent.

Data released by the Australian Automobile Association’s (AAA) EV Index report show that sales of new hybrid cars have exceeded that of electric cars.

Hybrid cars accounted for 95,129 of sales from the third quarter of 2023 to the first quarter of 2024 while electric vehicle (EV) sales totalled 69,593 in the same period.

There was stable growth in the low-emission car market as hybrids accounted for 11.95 per cent of the total market sales in the first quarter of 2024; an increase of 5.69 per cent from the same period in 2023.

One factor in the surge of hybrid sales could have been the massive influx of Toyota RAV4 deliveries which also happened to be the number one-selling SUV in March this year.

Toyota Australia said that a record 93.4 per cent of RAV4s delivered in March 2024 were hybrid models.

“People are wanting to go into that lower cost, lower emissions motoring, but they just don’t think they are ready for the full EV experience,” James Voortman, the Australian Automotive Dealer Association chief executive told The Guardian.

Electric cars surpassed their previous market share record in Q1 of this year with 8.70 per cent, up from 8.67 per cent which was recorded in the second quarter of 2023 due to a surge in Tesla deliveries.

Petrol and diesel-powered cars account for over 70 per cent of the new light-vehicle market in the country, however excluding hybrid or electric-powered cars in this statistic, these cars experienced an 8 per cent sales decline from the last quarter of 2023 to the first quarter of 2024.

In the first quarter of 2024, purely petrol and diesel-powered vehicles accounted for 78.2 per cent of all motor vehicle sales; the first time it has fallen below 80 per cent.

The AAA said that in the first quarter of the year, hybrids were most popular amongst the small and medium-sized passenger cars including the Toyota Camry and SUVs like the Mitsubishi Outlander.

Electric models accounted for 52.6 per cent of medium passenger vehicle sales and almost 40 per cent of large passenger cars and SUVs in the first quarter of this year.

Tesla remains the most popular brand amongst electric car buyers as it was ranked sixth in total sales in March 2024, which was its highest finishing position.

Petrol and diesel engines continued to dominate the small passenger and SUV market with the top two models being the Toyota Camry and Ford Everest for the January to March quarter.

In the ute and van space, petrol and diesel-powered engines accounted for over 99 per cent of sales with the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux staying in the top 10 of cars sold in March this year.

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