The first and highly anticipated AutoTrader Hybrid Car Buyers Report has officially been released in partnership with Smarter Mobility. The report provides valuable insights into the current trends, opportunities and challenges in the hybrid market. It also sheds light on the role of hybrid technology in shaping the future of sustainable mobility.

Hybrid cars play an important role in the South African economy. I believe that hybrids are a middle step to full-battery electricity as we navigate our infrastructure woes over the next few years. Yes, there will be purist BEV buyers, probably in the premium segment of the consumer market for now, but for the everyday car buyer, all roads lead to hybrids.

Believe it or not, hybrid cars have been around for a quarter of a century; back in 1997, Toyota launched the world’s first mass-market hybrid, the Prius. Despite this, there is still a strong requirement for mass consumer education.

Now, Toyota has launched what is arguably the most successful hybrid in the market so far. The Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid. This vehicle fits squarely within the price expectation of under R500 000 – a trend we’ve seen from the past 3 AutoTrader EV Buyers Reports.

Consumer Trends and Preferences

The report highlights the growing popularity of hybrid cars among South African consumers, driven by the increasing demand for environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient vehicles. It delves into which key factors drive the adoption of hybrid technology in the country, including government policies, consumer preferences and technological advancements. As the increasing demand for hybrids increases on AutoTrader (2022/2021 data), we have also seen increases in:

  • Consumer Advert Views – 44% YoY 
  • Enquiries – 64%
  • New Sales – 1,885%¹ compared to the first eight months of 2021
  • Consideration – 45% of respondents would consider a hybrid car in 3 years.

Driving the Adoption of Hybrid Technology in South Africa

AutoTrader’s Hybrid Report provides an overview of the latest trends in hybrid technology, such as plug-in hybrids, mild hybrids and full hybrids, and their respective benefits and drawbacks. It explores the various hybrid models available in the South African market, their features and pricing, and the most popular hybrid brands among consumers. South Africans massively underestimated the total range a hybrid car is able to have – for example,

  • SA’s cheapest hybrid car, the Toyota Corolla Cross 1.8 Hybrid XS, has a claimed range of 965 km (600 miles).
  • The report also says 81% of South Africans believe that hybrids have a lower possible range than SA’s cheapest hybrid.

Challenges and Opportunities in the Hybrid Market

The challenges and opportunities that the hybrid market faces in South Africa, such as the lack of infrastructure, high purchase prices, and limited availability of models are further unpacked. It also highlights the potential of hybrid technology to transform the country’s automotive industry, promoting sustainability and reducing carbon emissions.

The AutoTrader Hybrid Report provides a comprehensive analysis of the current state and future prospects of hybrid cars in South Africa, whilst highlighting the critical role that hybrid technology will play in promoting sustainable mobility. This report is a valuable resource for automakers, policymakers, and consumers alike, providing insights and recommendations on accelerating the adoption of hybrid technology and promoting a cleaner, greener future for all.

Download the report here for more insights: