Plug-in hybrids suffered a sales decline in 2022 -- in contrast to the success of full-electric cars -- as automakers were forced to make difficult production decisions amid supply chain shortages.
Plug-in hybrid sales tumbled 9 percent in the year to the end of October to 783,245, according to figures from market analyst Dataforce.
Meanwhile, sales of full-electric cars jumped 25 percent during the period to 1.13 million.
Plug-in hybrids combine electric powertrains capable of battery-powered ranges of 50 to 60 km with a combustion engine for longer journeys.
The technology sharply lowers CO2 emissions compared with gasoline or diesel alternative, according to official tests, qualifying them for tax incentives in some countries and reducing automakers’ fleet emissions. However, detractors say the results are rarely repeated in real life.
The Volkswagen Group made deep cuts in production of plug-in hybrids in 2022, even going so far as to halt production of Seat models with the powertrain.
Through 10 months, eight of the 10 plug-in hybrids with the biggest percentage declines in sales were from VW Group, led by the Seat Leon compact and the Audi Q7 large SUV (see table, below).