Hybrid car sales continue to fall as drivers switch to electric cars: ‘worst of both worlds’

Sales of plug-in hybrid vehicles continue to fall, recording a 23% decline in August, followed by another 11.5% in September. September was a bumper month for car sales, with 225,269 new cars registered, including the one millionth electric vehicle registration.

Hybrid vehicles, however, accounted for just 12,281 sales, down 11.5 percent from last year, according to SMMT data.

Hybrids, or PHEVs, have a current market share of just 5.5 percent, only slightly higher than diesel at 4.6 percent.

This is in line with the year-to-date trend that plug-in hybrid sales are down nearly 16 percent since the start of the year.

Fully electric vehicles continue to be very popular with buyers, with August year-over-year sales up more than 35% (and nearly 50% year-to-date).

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Political uncertainty, supply chain issues and the cost of living crisis continue to hamper auto sales.

Stuart Masson, Editorial Director of the car expertcommented on the figures and the drop in popularity of hybrids.

He said: “This is not the first month we have seen PHEV sales decline sharply, but the trend now seems set in stone.

“British buyers are turning their backs on PHEVs and making the jump to fully electric cars.

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“Previously seen as the best of both worlds, buyers now view PHEVs differently.

“Depends on your perspective, but looking at the trend, you could say motorists think they are the worst of both worlds.

“This is not necessarily bad news for automakers because many of them make huge profits and buyers are choosing smaller, greener, cheaper models that really suit their needs.

“Dacia and MG, for example, have basically doubled their market share this year compared to 2021.”

Year-over-year sales of all-electric cars have improved by nearly 50 per cent, with buyers increasingly convinced it’s the powertrain of choice and manufacturers continuing to launch new models with increasingly impressive battery ranges.

The government plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 in a bid to cut emissions and reach net-zero emissions targets.

This will be done through a two-step plan, with step two meaning all new cars and vans will have zero tailpipe emissions from 2035.

Between 2030 and 2035, new cars and trucks can be sold if they have the ability to drive a significant distance with zero emissions.

This will include plug-in hybrids or full hybrids, and this will be defined through consultation.

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