Toyota’s RAV4 shows why hybrids remain a good compromise in the market, says GlobalData

Following the news that Toyota in Europe reported its highest ever hybrid mix – at 56% (67% in Western Europe) – in its first quarter sales;

Graeme Roberts, Automotive Editor at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“Toyota’s first quarter sales results show just how important petrol-electric hybrid sales remain for the company. Hybrids – whether conventional or plug-in – are accounting for a growing share of Toyota’s sales mix, with plug-in hybrids becoming particularly popular.

“First quarter sales of the RAV4 in Europe totalled 41,014 units, of which some 22,589 were hybrids. In some markets – such as the UK – only hybrids are offered in the RAV4 range now.

“Even as the auto industry eyes much higher volumes of fully electric vehicles over the next five years, plug-in hybrids such as the RAV4 will continue to occupy a vital market slot – especially for hybrid specialist Toyota.

“PHEVs – plug-in hybrid electric vehicles – remain a very good compromise for drivers who want to go EV but avoid the ‘range anxiety’ and public recharging inconveniences which can make long journey planning challenging. The RAV4 comes with a claimed 46-mile EV mode range (61-miles in urban use).

“RAV4 customers can use the electric range for the close-to-home or workplace journeys, with the combustion engine kicking in on longer journeys to top up the battery again.

“If the rollout of chargepoints for future electric vehicles is less than smooth, many will likely consider cars such as the RAV4 as a good option, particularly as diesels become less available.”

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