Ever since the very first hybrid car entered the consumer market with the Toyota Prius back in 2000, there has been a lot of press about how, along with electric vehicles, they would transform the auto industry.
While there has undoubtedly been a rise in the number of alternative fuel vehicles sold and entering the market, petrol and diesel cars still seem to dominate. Nearly two decades on from the first hybrid, are they really getting more popular?
The Latest Market Figures
According to some recent data compiled by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the sale of plug-in hybrids were up 72 per cent in May 2018 compared to a year earlier. Sales of alternative fuel vehicles in total had grown by 36 per cent in total too, making up a record 5.8 per cent market share.
While that is still relatively low and includes the sale of electric vehicles too, it is still demonstrating year-on-year growth. Plus, with the overall car market down 6.8 per cent at the time as well, any growth is positive. It looks like on paper that hybrid cars are still growing in popularity among drivers, though it could still be many years before the sale of hybrid cars eclipses that of petrol and diesel models.
Reasons for Their Rise
There are various factors behind the growth in popularity of hybrid cars among both new and existing drivers. Firstly, some hybrid models are now a lot more affordable than they were a decade or so ago, which has helped to increase their sales. Plus, with more new models being manufactured it also means that the used car market is now being flooded with more second-hand hybrids.
Of course, being environmentally friendly is a big draw for many drivers, especially with more countries introducing extra taxes and charges for higher emissions. Greater awareness has made more drivers aware of how economical driving a hybrid can be too, with less petrol and diesel consumed when hybrids use electric power travelling at low speeds.
What are the Most Popular Hybrids?
If you’re planning to buy a hybrid car for your next vehicle then looking at what’s available through online retailers is a good place to start. Before that though, it’s important to know what the best hybrid cars worth buying are. Some of the top ones include:
- Toyota Prius: Nearly 18 years in production has allowed the Prius to become more refined, stylish and fuel efficient to help maintain its place as the world’s best-selling hybrid.
- MINI Countryman: This plug-in hybrid makes no compromises with the iconic looks, while offering a practical and rewarding drive.
- Mitsubishi Outlander: In the UK the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has sold even better than in Japan, meeting the demand for a hybrid SUV.
- BMW i8: AT the luxurious end of the scale is the fun and desirable BMW i8, which is a high-performance hybrid sports car with the looks and technology to boot.
- Hyundai Ioniq: A low price tag and running costs are complemented by its high levels of practicality and style that rivals the Prius.
With more choice and more sales, it seems that hybrid cars really are growing in popularity across the world.