Australia’s best-selling hybrids and plug-in hybrids of 2023

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Nearly 110,000 hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars were sold new in Australia last year – compared to 87,000 electric vehicles. Here are the top sellers.

New hybrid and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles remained more popular than electric cars in Australia last year, and set new sales records.

Data published by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) reports 98,439 hybrid and 11,212 plug-in hybrid new vehicles as sold in Australia in 2023, up 20.3 and 88.8 per cent on the prior year.

Sales of fully-electric vehicles grew by 161 per cent last year to 87,217 deliveries, but continued to be outsold by hybrids – thanks to a surge in the second half of the year for Toyota, the top seller of hybrid cars in Australia.

Toyota accounted for 73.2 per cent of hybrids sold last year – and seven of the top 10 best-selling hybrids – but it is down from an 89 per cent share of sales in 2022, as new makes and models entered the market.

If Toyota hybrid cars were a standalone brand, they would have finished sixth overall – with 72,084 deliveries, ahead of Mitsubishi (63,511) but just behind Hyundai (75,183) and Kia (76,120).

Plug-in hybrid sales increased by close to 90 per cent, from 5937 in 2022, to 11,212 in 2023 – two-thirds of which were accounted for by the top five best-selling models.

Here is a breakdown of the top-selling hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles in Australia last year.

Hybrid car sales in Australia in 2023

Sales of hybrid cars – which unlike plug-in hybrids cannot be recharged externally, and use the engine, or energy captured under deceleration – increased to 98,439 last year.

It is up 20.3 per cent on the 81,816 deliveries reported in 2022 – which was 16.1 per cent higher than the 70,466 sales posted in 2021.

Toyota remained the top seller by a significant margin, accounting for 73.2 per cent of hybrids sold – ahead of its luxury division, Lexus, with 8377 sales to take second place.

However Toyota’s share of hybrid sales slipped from 89 per cent in 2022, and the 72,084 hybrids it reported as delivered last year is not an outright record – down on the 72,815 sales it reported a year earlier.

Hybrid power did represent a record 33.5 per cent of Toyota sales, or 78.4 per cent when the model lines not available as hybrids – including the HiLux ute and LandCruiser four-wheel-drive range – are excluded.

While hybrid cars accounted for 8.1 per cent of new vehicles sold – 11,000 sales ahead of electric cars, which represented for 7.2 per cent of the total – it was a close-fought race.

At the end of June, year-to-date electric-vehicle sales tallied 43,092 – compared to 38,313 hybrids – as Toyota faced stock shortages in the early part of the year.

In August hybrids regained the lead, with 59,593 sales reported year-to-date – compared to 56,922 electric vehicles – after more than 11,500 hybrid-car deliveries were recorded during the month, and supply improved for Toyota.

The number-two seller of hybrids was Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota – ahead of China’s GWM (7423), which saw hybrids account for a record 20.4 per cent of its deliveries (up from 7.8 per cent in 2022).

Eight of the top 10 most popular hybrids were built by the Toyota group, with hybrid technology accounting for more than 92 per cent of Toyota Camry sedan sales, and nearly 87 per cent of Toyota RAV4 deliveries.

Plug-in hybrid car sales in Australia in 2023

Plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles are the least popular of Australia’s three main types of ‘electrified’ vehicles – hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric, as hydrogen cars are sold in minuscule numbers – and a number of car makers are departing the market in favour of more electric cars.

Yet PHEV sales grew by 88.8 per cent in 2023, to 11,212 deliveries – though they still accounted for just 0.9 per cent of new vehicles sold.

The Outlander has reclaimed its number-one position after losing the title last year to the MG HS, during a change-over between old and new Outlander PHEV models.

The surprise fourth-placed finisher is the Mazda CX-60, which arrived in showrooms in July but tallied 1139 PHEV deliveries by the end of 2023 – accounting for 41 per cent of total CX-60 sales, the highest of any single model that is available in hybrid and non-hybrid forms.

Extrapolating the Mazda CX-60 plug-in hybrid’s sales from July to December over a full year translates to an estimated 2733 deliveries – which would be enough to lead the annual PHEV sales charts.

More than one-third of plug-in hybrids sold – 3570 out of 11,212 vehicles – wore a Mitsubishi badge.


Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020.

Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines at a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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