Australians are embracing battery-powered vehicles at an increasing rate, with electric cars outselling hybrids in February – as petrol-electric market leader Toyota stumbled.
Electric vehicles outsold conventional hybrid cars in February 2023, official sales data shows – amid growing demand for electric cars, and stock shortages affecting hybrid top seller Toyota.
February sales data published by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) industry body shows electric vehicles claimed 6.8 per cent (or 5932 cars) of all new vehicles sold – compared to 6.6 per cent, or 5716 sales for hybrids.
However, it was not the first time this occurred – for example, electric-car sales were 60 per cent higher than hybrids in September 2022 – and when plug-in hybrids are included in the February 2023 total, the balance tips back in hybrid power’s favour.
Electric-vehicle sales were up 888.7 per cent last month compared to February 2022 – while hybrid vehicle sales are almost down by a third (29.8 per cent) compared to the same month last year.
It should be noted that the top-selling electric-vehicle brand, Tesla, only began sharing sales data through the car industry’s monthly VFACTS reports in March 2022.
Meanwhile, Toyota – which accounted for nearly 90 per cent of all conventional hybrid vehicles reported as sold last year – faced a 31 per cent sales decline across its range last month, amid production constraints, and an ongoing quarantine crisis in Australian ports.
Year to date, compared to the same period in 2022, electric vehicles are up 783.9 per cent. This compares with hybrids, which are down 17.2 per cent.
Tesla is a major driver behind the electric-car sales result in February, reporting 3516 vehicles as sold between its Model Y SUV and Model 3 sedan. The Model 3 was the stronger-selling of the two, with 2671 sales – clinching the title of the third-best-selling vehicle overall in February.
In a media statement, Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber said “the number of low-emission vehicle sales demonstrates that there is an appetite among Australians for environmentally friendly vehicles.”
“Growing sales of electric vehicles proves that where a battery electric product exists which suits the driving habits, needs and finances of Australian motorists, they will purchase these vehicles,” Mr Weber said.
Behind Tesla, the growth in electric-car sales has been helped by newcomers including the BYD Atto 3, which reported 770 examples as sold in February 2023 – while its rival, the MG ZS EV, sold 387 examples.