2021 Australian plug-in hybrid sales detailed


Plug-in hybrids remain a substantially less popular choice in Australia than either conventional Toyota-style hybrids or battery electric vehicles, alike.

According to sales data supplied by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, 3372 PHEVs found buyers in 2021. That was up 99.4 per cent year-on-year, but still represented just 0.3 per cent of the total new car market.

By contrast, conventional hybrids found 70,466 buyers (up 20.3 per cent), while electric vehicles counted by VFACTS totalled 5149 (up 191.1 per cent) – a figure that excludes Tesla, which we believe sold 10,000-12,000 Model 3s last year on top of this.

For those not across the technology, ‘stepping stone’ plug-in hybrids offer daily electric-only range with a petrol engine-generator backup to mitigate range anxiety. In terms of price they sit between hybrids and EVs.

If there is one market segment where PHEVs are getting some sort of cut-through, it’s medium SUVs – with the top four-selling plug-in hybrid models all falling into this category.

Squeaking into first was Australia’s most established PHEV, the Mitsubishi Outlander, with 592 sales equal to just over 4 per cent of the Outlander’s total. It edged out the newer MG HS on 580 sales, equal to around 8.5 per cent of that model’s total.

Expect this duo to stay on top this year too. A brand new Outlander PHEV with much longer electric range arrives in the first half, while MG will expand the HS Plus EV range with a cheaper base variant priced closer to $40,000 in January.

Next in the pecking oder were two more luxurious options: the Volvo XC60 (308, equal to 8.4 per cent of that model’s total) and the Mercedes-Benz GLC (also 308, 8.9 per cent).

PHEV sales in 2021:

Model Sales 2021
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 592
MG HS Plus EV 580
Volvo XC60 Recharge PHEV 308
Mercedes-Benz GLC300e 308
Volvo XC40 Recharge PHEV 288
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV 229
Volvo XC90 Recharge PHEV 170
BMW 330e 150
Mini Countryman Hybrid 141
Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid 122
BMW X5 xDrive45e 118
Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid 68
Mercedes-Benz A250e 66
Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid 60
BMW X3 xDrive30e 37
Ferrari SF90/296 GTB 25
BMW 530e 22
Mercedes-Benz E300e 20
Kia Sorento Plug-in Hybrid 15
Mercedes-Benz C300e 13
Range Rover Sport PHEV 11
Peugeot 3008 GT Sport Plug-in 11
BMW 745e 6
Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid 6
Peugeot 508 GT Plug-in Hybrid 5
Range Rover PHEV 1

While PHEVs remain niche in Australia, there are numerous new plug-in hybrid models launching here during the course of 2022, which should produce another year of growth.

Some of the anticipated new PHEVs on the way in 2022 include the following, with the anticipated launch times listed:

  • Lexus NX450h+ – first quarter
  • Ford Escape PHEV – second quarter
  • Mercedes-Benz C350e – first half
  • New-gen Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV – first half
  • Cupra Formentor – third quarter
  • New-gen Kia Niro PHEV – third quarter
  • Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E – third quarter
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe – second half
  • Volkswagen Touareg R PHEV – fourth quarter

MORE: Toyota hybrids break sales record, despite shortages
MORE: MG sees mainstream growth potential in HS plug-in hybridMORE: Mitsubishi’s problem? Australians don’t know what plug-in hybrids are

MORE: Mercedes-Benz defends PHEVs as more than a ‘compliance trick’


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