EVs and hybrids generally continue their upward trend in October’s new vehicle sales figures while petrol and diesel sales drop even further – the 31st consecutive month of declining sales in that sector.
The “green shoots” seen in the latest figures by Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) chief executive Tony Weber may mean slightly more than he intends.While he’s referring to customers returning to dealerships across the country with COVID-19 restrictions easing and financial initiatives encouraging buyers, it could also mean a ‘greening’ of the industry with the rise in popularity of low to zero emission vehicles. For probably the first time, Weber refers to “electrifed vehicles” in his comments. “Electrified vehicles also experienced a surge during the month, more than doubling in their total sales compared to October 2019,” he says.
“This shows that Australian consumers are willing to explore new drive train technologies.”
Weber’s mention of electrified vehicles is backed by the VFACTs figures themselves. They show gains for electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles in nearly all categories.
The only downs for EVs are in the October comparisons for passenger electric vehicles (78 sales in October 2020 compared with 96 in October 2019 – down 18.8%) and the light commercial electric segment which shows no sales for October 2020 and just one in the same month the year before.
Elsewhere, it’s positive territory for ‘electrified vehicles’. Even the electric passenger segment shows year-to-date (YTD) gains – up from 623 last year to 779 (25%).
For hybrids, the gains are even better on a numbers basis. In the passenger vehicle category, hybrids climbed 29.9% from 1722 in October 2019 to 2237 for October just gone. And hybrids rose 23.2% on YTD figures for that sector as well, going from 16,152 to 19,898.
PHEVs were up from 27 to 58 (114.8%) in passenger vehicle monthly comparisons, and increased from 196 to 317 YTD (61.7%).
The popular SUV market saw reasonable gains for electrified vehicles too. Electric SUV numbers went from 80 in October 2019 to 108 for October 2020 (35%) and from 589 YTD last year to 619 YTD this year (5.1%).
Hybrids jumped a massive 200% plus in the SUV sector, going from 1025 to 3564 (247.7%) in monthly comparisons and from 7011 to 26,737 (281.4%) in YTD comparisons.
PHEVs went up from 71 (October 2019) to 142 (October 2020) – a 100% rise, but the climb was just 2.9% in YTD comparisons (969 to 997).
Light commercial electric vehicles showed reverse progress, as mentioned earlier, and dropped 48% on YTD comparisons (from 25 last year to 13 this time). Some of the electrified vehicle figures indicate suitable alternatives to fossil fuel have yet to arrive, especially for utes and commercial types. But plenty of options seem to be on the horizon.
Author: Geoff Dobson