Massive increase in hybrid sales in South Africa

Massive increase in hybrid sales in South AfricaInterest in hybrids is at an all-time high in this country – although South Africans still have a lot to learn about the technology.

These are among the fascinating facts to emerge from the 2022 AutoTrader Hybrid Car Buyers Survey. The first-ever local report of its kind, the purpose of the survey is to inform the industry on consumer sentiment, understanding and demand for hybrid-driven cars.

“Hybrid cars have been around for some years now. The first hybrid launched in South Africa was the Toyota Prius back in 2005. That said, as an industry, we are in the process of transitioning into a market which is geared, and prepared for new energy vehicles at scale. Hybrid vehicles – which, thanks to the escalating fuel price, are now more popular than ever before – offer a bridge into electric powertrain modes of transport. But there’s little research into the hybrid market available to the industry,” explains AutoTrader CEO,George Mienie.

Until now, that is. The 2022 AutoTrader Hybrid Car Buyers Survey unpacks all the trends relating to the hybrid market – from sales to consumer expectations and purchasing intent.

One of the most positive findings within the report pertains to sales; hybrid vehicle sales in South Africa are already up by 1,885% compared to the first eight months of 2021¹. Looking at advert view behaviour, there has been a big increase in the attention that hybrid cars have received (year-on-year, it increased by an impressive 44% in 2022). This behavior is not just limited to casual browsing - most importantly, hybrid enquiries have risen by 64% year on year.

While hybrids are on the lips of many South Africans, this is – for the majority of consumers – an unknown market sector. More than 60% of South African consumers have never experienced a hybrid car while fewer than 5% have owned one. Most South Africans are unaware of the various hybrid cars that are available in the market. They’re also unclear as to which hybrid car configurations exist.

Bearing this in mind, there is much work to do. “As industry stakeholders, it is vital to understand the hybrid sentiment, as it is the clear and obvious stepping stone for in-market car shoppers to migrate to full battery EVs. With that said, there is significant education and awareness required for a move toward the adoption of hybrid cars. One of the key findings from the report was that SA’s cheapest hybrid, which currently is The Toyota Corolla Cross 1.8 Hybrid XS, has a claimed range of 965 km (600 miles), however the Hybrid report says 81% of South Africans believe that Hybrids have a lower possible range than SA’s cheapest hybrid.

“Organisations such as AutoTrader, dealers, manufacturers, and industry bodies will therefore need to work together to promote, and collaborate in order to drive and spotlight the benefits of hybrid cars,” the report concludes.

Download a free copy of the report here.