Toyota RAV4 Hybrid sales surge by 39% during pandemic, eclipsing petrol variant sales

Hybrid sales have skyrocketed during the pandemic
Published on November 16th, 2021
  Written by 
Adrian Edlington
Adrian Edlington is PR & Communications Manager at Savvy. With a keen interest in personal finance, car loans, the mortgage industry, cost of living pressures, electric vehicles and renewable technology, Adrian's research includes conducting primary data surveys and analysis of up-to-the-minute secondary Australian data sources. His work on behalf of Savvy has been featured on ABC.net.au The Conversation, the Sydney Morning Herald, AFR, News.com.au, The Age, Herald Sun, Adelaide Now, SBS On The Money, 7News, Car Expert, Which Car, Drive.com.au and more. In his spare time, Adrian enjoys mountain biking and business podcasts.
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Hybrid car sales have been strong as Australians seek to save money and help the environment, finds Savvy's hybrid vehicles report. Of all the brands available, Toyota has cornered the largest portion of the market. 

  • Toyota hybrids accounted for 92% of all analysed hybrid sales in Australia in 2021 
  • Toyota Rav4 Hybrid vehicle sales increased by 39% in 2021 from 2019  
  • Rav4 Sales increased by a further 4% in 2021 
  • 34% of all analysed hybrids sold were RAV4s 
  • Toyota Corolla hybrid accounted for 56.44% of all analysed hybrids sold 
  • Australia’s best seller, the Toyota RAV4, shows Australians willing to pay 10% premium for hybrids 

This eclipsed the sales figures of the petrol variant – 4,626 petrol models vs. 8,211 hybrid models in 2020, followed by 3492 petrol vs 6791 hybrid models in 2021. While sales dipped in 2021, hybrid RAV4s as a percentage increased to 66%. 

Carloop looked at a random selection of 50,000 hybrid cars sold in Australia during the Covid-19 pandemic (2019-2021). Of the 50,000, 46,282 were Toyota hybrids.  

Australian car market – hybrid analysis 2021

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid most popular hybrid SUV brand by far

Carloop obtains data from multiple sources, including vehicle registration, internal consumer trends research, as well as crowdsourced data. 

The far and away leader in hybrid sales is Toyota, claiming 92% of the market, followed by Mitsubishi on 3%, Hyundai on 2%, and Subaru on 1%.

“There are over twenty-five different hybrid models on offer in Australia, but the Toyota RAV4 is the clear winner – and Australians want them,” says Savvy Managing Director Bill Tsouvalas. “It’s startling to see that the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and Cruiser Hybrid sales eclipsed that of the equivalent petrol-driven vehicles in 2020. This is even despite a four-point four percent increase in price during the pandemic.”

Of the 46,282 vehicles sold by Toyota, Toyota Corolla hybrid sales totalled 28,220 (61%), RAV4s 17,094 (37%), while the Kluger hybrid sold 968 (2%).  

Not only has the RAV4 become the most popular SUV sold in Australia, but the Hybrid version became the most popular type of Rav4 sold in 2020 with the trend continuing into 2021 and projected to continue into 2022. 

“Though wait times for new vehicles have ballooned out to as much as twelve months, there is a big appetite for cars and Australians are willing to pay ten percent more to get them, which will result in the need for a bigger car loan” says founder of Carloop, Riz Akhtar.

Hybrid analysis 2021 – Toyota Rav4

Toyota RAV4 hybrid sales in Australia

Current Australian new car sales buck world trends. There is a current global new car sale slump of 14%,  a US sales dip of 15.83% (2019 vs 2020) and UK sales contraction of 27% (2019 vs 2020.) By contrast, Australian car sales have surged 33% year on year (October 2020 to 2021) according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries. According to a survey by Savvy, demand for clean energy vehicles such as hybrids and electric vehicles is strong. 

Toyota RAV4 hybrid vs petrol sale price 2019 to 2020

“As fuel costs hover above one dollar sixty per litre, alternatives such as hybrids will become more attractive even if the initial cost of entry is higher,” Tsouvalas says. “Be ready to see more ‘hybrid’ badges in front of you this year.”

About Carloop 

Carloop is a simple real car pricing data platform for everyday car owners and buyers, founded in 2018 to help Australians find their next new car by showing real car prices to help buyers and sellers make an informed decision. Carloop conducts continued research into car prices and trends using the latest in technology. 

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