The electric car revolution is arriving sooner than expected with sales doubling in just a year – even in a slowing market.
In October, 58 plug-in electric vehicles were sold, more than double the 27 tally of a year earlier, new Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries data showed.
Unlike fully-electric cars, PHEVs also have a petrol motor but can travel further on rechargeable battery power and use less fuel than a regular hybrid.
Sales of petrol-electric hybrids meanwhile surged by 30 per cent from 1,722 to 2,237.
During the same period, monthly sales of petrol cars dived by 28 per cent from 20,866 to 15,017, even though the broader car market was just 1.5 per cent weaker.
Compared with a year earlier, demand for diesel cars halved from 846 to 404.
The electric car revolution may be arriving sooner than expected with sales doubling in just a year – even in a slowing market. In October, 58 plug-in electric vehicles were sold, more than double the 27 tally of a year earlier, new Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries data showed. Pictured is a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV being recharged
Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber said the results showed Australian motorists were more open-minded about hybrid and electric cars, which now have a 2.9 per cent share of the car market.
‘Electrified vehicles also experienced a surge during the month, more than doubling in their total sales compared to October 2019,’ he said.
‘This shows that Australian consumers are willing to explore new drive train technologies.’
Demand for fully-electric cars however fell from 96 to 78 cars, with environmentally-conscious motorists clearly favouring hybrids with a petrol motor.
Compared with a year earlier, demand for diesel cars halved from 846 to 404 as sales of petrol-electric hybrid surged by 30 per cent from 1,722 to 2,237. Pictured is the Toyota RAV4, Australia’s most popular SUV and Australia’s top-selling hybrid car
The Mitsubishi Outlander is the most popular SUV available with a plug-in electric option.
Australia’s most popular cars
1. Toyota HiLux: 4,444 sales
2. Ford Ranger: 4,217 sales
3. Toyota RAV4: 4,084 sales
4. Toyota LandCruiser: 2,429 sales
5. Toyota Prado: 2,207
6. Toyota Corolla: 1,943 sales
7. Isuzu D-Max: 1,932 sales
8. Mazda CX-5: 1,912 sales
9. Hyundai Tucson: 1,678 sales
10. Kia Cerato: 1,619 sales
Source: Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries VFACTS sales data for October 2020
Last month, 1,150 were sold, up 35 per cent from 850 a year earlier.
The PHEV – or plug-in electric vehicle – model sells for $48,000 or half the price of BMW’s equivalent X5 xDrive45e with a price tag of $134,000.
The Toyota RAV4 is by far the most popular SUV available as a hybrid with 4,084 leaving showrooms in October, up 91.6 per cent from 2,132 in October 2019 to be Australia’s third most popular car.
The RAV4 made history in July as the first ever SUV to top the sales charts.
This SUV topped the showroom chart again in August, with the hybrid accounting for the majority of sales – the first time ever a petrol-electric car has been Australia’s bestseller.
Prices for the hybrid version start at less than $36,000.
The Toyota HiLux ute in October regained its place as Australia’s top selling car, for the first time since June, with 4,444 sold – an increase of 26.4 per cent compared with a year earlier following the release of a facelifted model.
The Ford Ranger fell back into second place with 4,217 sold in October, a month after this ute topped the sales charts for the first time in three years.
SUVs have, since July, comprised the majority of vehicles sold in Australia.
This was reflected in the top ten tally, with five SUVs making the list including the RAV4, Toyota LandCruiser (2,429 sales), Toyota Prado (2,207 sales), Mazda CX-5 (1,912 sales) and Hyundai Tucson (1,678 sales).
During the same period, monthly sales of petrol cars dived by 28 per cent from 20,866 to 15,017, even though the broader car market was just 1.5 per cent weaker. Pictured is a Sydney service station