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Market electrifies Toyota hybrid sales

Fleets lead the shift to petrol-electric cars.

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Toyota has revealed a 30% surge in sales of its hybrid cars, as the push towards electric vehicles gains momentum.

The jump in petrol-electric vehicle sales, which the Japanese manufacturer says is “unprecedented” comes just days after Swedish brand Volvo announced that all of its cars launched from 2019 will include an electric motor in some form.

Toyota sold 22,616 hybrid vehicles in the UK between January and June 2017, with the biggest increase being to fleets – 40.2% up on the same period in 2016. Of every 10 Toyota buyers in the UK four are choosing hybrid models, the largest percentage in the industry. In Europe the rise is even more marked, Toyota and Lexus hybrid sales up 44% – one in every two of the brand’s cars sold in Europe is now a hybrid.

C-HR leads way

The new C-HR crossover is leading the surge, more than 80% of its sales across Europe being the hybrid variant, while the electric motor-equipped model of the latest RAV4 SUV is also selling well.

Some observers believe the increasing negative publicity surrounding diesel engines is fuelling the shift to hybrid – UK diesel registrations are down almost 10% year to date and slipped almost 15% in June. However according to Toyota GB sales director Mark Roden, the growth is happening because the mystery surrounding hybrids has been replaced by customers recognising the benefits in fuel efficiency, environmental impact and refinement that the powertrains offer.

“Toyota has led the way for two decades in making hybrid technology available to everyone – we have proven technology, famous reliability and the most exciting range of hybrid cars we’ve ever offered. I’m delighted that more people than ever are enjoying the benefits of them,” Roden says.

Toyota Prius dash
More drivers than ever are seeing displays like this on their dash.

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.