Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Brave new march of the electric plug-ins

WE seem to be at last entering a brave new world of motoring.

WE seem to be at last entering a brave new world of motoring.

A colleague mentioned the other day that she’d spotted a car-charging point just off Oxford Street in London, next to a row of Boris bikes, and that there was a little electric car plugged in to it.

I myself noticed for the first time last week an electric car-charging point at an M4 service station. Actually, there were no takers, but I am wondering if the electric car will eventually catch on like mobile phones have in the last couple of decades.

It is timely to announce, then, that sales figures released this week have confirmed Toyota’s Prius Plug-in as the best-selling plug-in hybrid in the UK. The car achieved 470 sales from its launch date in July 2012, outselling its nearest rival, Vauxhall Ampera, despite it being on sale since April, three months longer than the Toyota.

This result is just part of a strong year for Toyota hybrid sales.

Overall, the brand sold 12,840 hybrid vehicles, an increase of 15.2 per cent compared to 2011. In 2012, the hybrid range expanded from two to five vehicles: Yaris Hybrid, seven-seat Prius+ and Prius Plug-in were added to the existing Prius and Auris Hybrid.

New Auris Hybrid, launched in December, is the latest model to feature a full hybrid powertrain, returning fuel economy of 76.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 87g/km.

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