More electric vehicles were sold in Australia in February than hybrids, as supply struggles appeared to bite Toyota.

    All up, 5932 electric vehicles were sold, accounting for a 6.8 per cent share of the overall market.

    Hybrids were just behind with 5716 sales and a 6.6 per cent share, while just 454 plug-in hybrids were sold for a market share of just 0.5 per cent.

    Compared with February 2022, EV sales were up a staggering 888.7 per cent while hybrid sales were down 29.8 per cent. Plug-in hybrid sales were up 48.9 per cent.

    Year-to-date, EV sales are up 783.9 per cent, hybrids down 17.2 per cent, and PHEVs up 43.9 per cent.

    There is a caveat with this huge EV sales growth, however: the monthly VFACTS industry sales report only started including Tesla sales figures in March 2022.

    Nevertheless, the American brand has become a heavy hitter in Australia. It sold 3516 vehicles in total in February, comprising 2671 Model 3s and 845 Model Ys.

    The Model 3 was also once again the third best-selling vehicle in Australia.

    That 3516-vehicle tally put it above the likes of Audi (1680), BMW (1047), GWM (2353), Honda (1228), Isuzu (3156), Mercedes-Benz (1807), Nissan (2573), and Volkswagen (2930), among numerous others.

    The EV market has seen some significant change over the last 12 months with the introduction of the BYD Atto 3, one of Australia’s cheapest EVs, and the belated arrival of the Tesla Model Y.

    The Atto 3 accounted for 770 sales in February, outselling the likes of the petrol and plug-in hybrid MG HS range (694 sales).

    On the hybrid front, almost every single Toyota with an electrified powertrain was down compared with February 2022, even if local deliveries were up across the board compared with the first month of this year.

    While VFACTS doesn’t break down hybrid and petrol sales, Camry sales were down 67.5 per cent on the same month last year, C-HR sales were down 47 per cent, Corolla sales were down 27.3 per cent, RAV4 sales were down 52.5 per cent, Yaris sales were down 38.9 per cent and Yaris Cross sales were down 30.3 per cent.

    The Kluger, however, was up 66.3 per cent, while the Corolla Cross is a new model.

    “The February sales figures confirm that we continue to face supply constraints, which are likely to continue for the first quarter at least,” said Sean Hanley, Toyota’s vice president of sales, marketing and franchise operations.

    “At this stage, we are expecting improved supply during the second half of the year.

    “Demand for Toyota vehicles remains incredibly strong and our order bank is very healthy.”

    It appears likely EV sales will continue to grow this year as more and more models arrive Down Under – many of which hail from China.

    The GWM Ora launches this year, BYD has two more launches planned for this year, and the MG 4 is also touching down.

    From Korea, Hyundai is lobbing its Ioniq 6 and Kia its EV9, while Japan is fielding the Lexus RZ450e, Subaru Solterra and Toyota bZ4X.

    There’s plenty of activity from European brands, too, with the Peugeot e-Partner and e-2008, Renault Kangoo and Megane E-Tech Electric, and Volkswagen ID.4 and ID.5 also arriving this year.

    MORE: EVs coming to Australia: Launch calendar, and what’s here already?

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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