Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) remain far less popular with consumers than both regular hybrids and full electric vehicles (EVs), but plenty of brands still offer them in their line-ups.
There are also some positive signs that people are considering the complicated technology, as a sort of bridge before switching to a pure EV down the track.
To the end of September, 6743 PHEVs found buyers in 2023. While that’s just 10 per cent of EV sales (65,743) or conventional hybrid sales (69,731) it represents yearly growth of 47.1 per cent.
Top of the pops is also the cheapest PHEV on sale, the MG HS Plus EV, with 1564 sales year-to-date (YTD). This represents 26.7 per cent of overall MG HS sales.
The Chinese upstart has therefore upstaged the Mitsubishi PHEV SUV duo of Eclipse Cross Plug-In Hybrid EV (862 sales, 14.4 per cent of all Eclipse Cross sales) and Outlander Plug-In Hybrid EV (740 sales, 4.2 per cent).
The Mazda CX-60 P50e is off to a strong start in terms of registrations, with 615 units counted as sold, equal to 38.6 per cent of the new model’s total since its July launch.
Rounding out the top five was the Volvo XC90 Recharge with 419 sales, equal to 42.1 per cent of the model’s total, ahead of the Mini Countryman with 400 units, 30.2 per cent of the range-wide total.
The Kia Sorento (344 sales, 4.8 per cent) has made gains over the past few months on the back of better supply from Korea, while the Cupra Formentor VZe accounts for nearly one-in-five Formentor sales (18.8 per cent).
The vehicle in 10th, Ford’s Escape ST-Line PHEV (176 sales, 8.9 per cent) has already been removed from sale, so don’t expect to see it featuring from here on in.
In terms of the wider market, there are 39 PHEV models made by 19 brands in the 2023 sales charts. Several of these are now off-sale however, including the Escape, Hyundai Ioniq, and Mercedes-Benz GLC and A-Class.
More than half of this list are either a medium SUV (12 models) or large SUV (eight) suggesting this is the sweet spot. When all is said and done though, PHEVs have a long way to go to achieve mainstream take-up.
|Model||Sales||% of range sales|
|Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross||862||14.4%|
|BMW 3 Series||119||5.1%|
|Range Rover Sport||57||3.6%|
|Range Rover Evoque||54||20.3|
|Jeep Grand Cherokee||25||2.5%|
|Citroen C5 X||9||14.3%|
|BMW 5 Series||4||1.2%|
|Bentley Flying Spur||2||18.2%|
|Range Rover Velar||1||0.3%|