How long before Australia follows in the footsteps of Scandinavia and we see the demise of the plugless hybrid (HEV or Hybrid Electric Vehicle) – a market dominated by Toyota?
Norway and Sweden have long been the bellwethers of the electric car revolution and we have watched with avid fascination how BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles) and PHEVs (Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicles) have increased their penetration in these countries.
One phenomenon which may have flown under the radar is the slow death of the non-plug in hybrid (HEV), also known as “mild hybrids”.
They were once touted as the transition vehicle between the internal combustion engine (ICE) and the electric car, but its numbers are falling fast in Scandinavia.
You aren’t the leader in electrification anymore Toyota. As avant garde as the Prius was 20 years ago, it is now quickly becoming passé. And from 2025, at least in Norway and from 2030 in many other countries, they will be banned. (Which might be why they are bringing out the Prius as a hydrogen car, running with a Corolla engine by 2025)!
Data from September 2021:
This data above, from Maximillian Hollandm, compares with the UK below, which is not quite as far down the track as Norway but heading in the same direction.
In Australia, the jump in hybrid sales is significant, but that’s largely because of the absence of options in full battery electric vehicles, and the fact that there are no signficant policies to encourage EVs, or penalise pollution.
So far in 2021, hybrid sales outnumbe full electrics by a ratio of almost 20 to 1, or a total of 22,193 compared to 1,210 full electric (not including Tesla which will be at least that amount again). Plug in hybrids barely figure, with some 290 sold so far this year.
So it appears that HEVs are surging in many countries, not in others. Toyota must be watching this wave anxiously – when will it peak? How do they time their jump? Do HEVs still have a part to play in decarbonisation?
David Waterworth is a retired teacher who divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He owns 50 shares of Tesla.