Sales of new electric vehicles in South Australia have increased by over 200 per cent in the past year while petrol car sales dropped by eight per cent – but Toyota SUVs still rule the road.

The Motor Trades Association said today that despite COVID-inflicted supply chain issues, latest VFACTS data showed 40,780 new cars had been sold in South Australia so far this year, compared with 41,260 for the same time last year.

Electric car sales jumped from 149 at this time in 2021, to 502 this year. Hybrid car sales rose from 3324 to 3807 in the same period, while plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) sales rose by 110 to 193.

Electric car manufacturer Tesla – which the MTA said did not previously register sales – has sold 150 vehicles in SA so far this year.

While petrol vehicles still overwhelmingly dominate sales, the 20,381 sold so far in 2022 is a significant drop from the 22,238 sold for the same time last year.

However, diesel vehicles increased in popularity, with 1909 sold to the end of July compared with 1709 at the same time in 2021.

MTA CEO Paul Unerkov said while EVs and hybrids were still only a small proportion of the market, South Australians were embracing them to reduce emissions.

“In South Australia there has been a 236 per cent increase of new electric vehicle sales to date this year and a 75 per cent increase of new plug-in hybrid cars,” he said.

“This comes as sales of new petrol cars are down 8.4 percent for the same period, a notable drop considering their volume of sales.”

The MTA said that more than 10,000 of new vehicles sold so far in 2022 were Toyotas, with Hilux the most popular model with 1935 purchases, while Toyota’s RAV sold 1776.

South Australians have bought 1361 Misubishis Tritons so far this year, with Ford’s Ranger selling 1357 and Mazda’s CX-5 1292. SUVs made up more than half of SA vehicle sales.

MG, owned by China’s biggest carmaker SAIC Motor, increased its SA sales by 47 per cent over 12 months, while Mazda sales dropped from 13 per cent to 10.6 per cent of the total.

The top five manufacturers by SA market share to August were Toyota with 25.1%, Mazda 10.6%, Mitsubishi 9.7%, Kia 6.8% and Hyundai 6.2%.

Unerkov said the state’s car sales overall meant good news for consumers.

“The new car market is certainly not as gloomy as some pundits would believe and these figures demonstrate that local dealerships have cars available for sale,” he said.

“South Australian sales should remain steady and consumer demand is expected to withstand inflationary and rising interest rate pressures.

Extracted in full from: Electric car sales charge up in SA (