Toyota has axed petrol versions of its Corolla, Corolla Cross, Camry, RAV4 and Kluger, which will see the brand’s entire passenger car and crossover lineup bar its performance vehicles go hybrid-only.

    “From today, our dealers will no longer offer petrol-only variants of any Toyota model where a hybrid alternative is available,” said Sean Hanley, Toyota Australia vice president for sales, marketing and franchise operations.

    “This is the next logical step in our hybrid-electric strategy we have been evolving and implementing since well before the first Prius arrived in October 2001, and it’s a significant milestone in our multi-pathway approach to decarbonisation.

    “Final deliveries of petrol-only stock will occur in coming months, with Kluger arrivals extending into next year.”

    The move leaves only four passenger cars – Toyota’s four GR sports models, the GR Yaris, GR Corolla, GR 86 and GR Supra – with pure petrol power.

    There’s still a wide range of off-roaders and commercial vehicles which don’t offer the option of hybrid power.

    Nevertheless, Toyota expects hybrids and electric vehicles (EVs) to account for more than half its sales next year.

    It had already confirmed the Yaris, Yaris Cross, Corolla hatch and C-HR would go hybrid-only, while the new Camry due in the second half of 2024 had also already been confirmed to be going hybrid-only.

    While the Yaris received a new entry-level hybrid variant earlier this year, Mr Hanley said the brand wouldn’t follow suit with the latest models to ditch pure petrol power.

    Instead, he expects customers to spend more in the absence of these price-leader petrol models.

    “They’ll move up to the hybrid vehicle,” said Mr Hanley.

    “The hybrid vehicle is a compelling value proposition and we’ve always tried to continue to make it as affordable, practical as possible.

    “In the whole, I think we have somewhere between $2500 and $4000 between petrol and hybrid, so with the fuel savings that you get over time, the practicality, the technology, the reduced emissions, the affordability is pretty well there we believe.”

    “I don’t think we’ll lose volume. Why would we? They represent such a high percentage now, and as you know demand has outstripped supply for years so I’m not expecting that there’ll be any longer-term drop.

    “There may be some short-term, but certainly nothing in the long term… I don’t expect anything in the medium term, any great impact.”

    Mr Hanley also ruled out the introduction of a more affordable, front-wheel drive hybrid version of the Kluger.

    In May, Toyota Australia set a new monthly record of 11,440 hybrids – 48.9 per cent of the brand’s volume.

    To the end of May, Toyota has delivered 46,821 hybrids, or 46.6 per cent of its total volume and more than double the number it had sold by the same point last year.

    That’s a huge increase from just a seven per cent share as recently as 2017.

    The take rate for hybrid power has been rising continually. The Kluger, for example, is currently sitting at a hybrid take rate of 76.7 per cent, while for every vehicle with a hybrid option the take rate is well above 50 per cent.

    In May, more than 95 per cent of RAV4 sales were hybrid.

    Toyota has sold more than 430,000 hybrids in Australia since it launched the first-generation Prius in October 2001.

    Today’s announcement sees a total of one Camry, three Corolla sedan, three Corolla Cross, three Kluger and four RAV4 models get the axe.

    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.

    Buy and Lease
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers