Domestic sales of new vehicles, such as hybrid and electric models, accounted for more than 40% of total new car sales for the first time in the first half of 2019, mainly due to its high fuel efficiency, according to report from the Japan Automobile Dealers Association.

For electrified vehicles, over 90% of sales were hybrid cars. Meanwhile, sales of electric cars, which are expected to spread rapidly around the world, were below 2%.

According to statistics compiled by the association, regular-size car sales, including compact cars from January to June, totaled 1,49 million, down 0,4% from the same period last year. Among them, sales of electrified vehicles increased by 5,7% to 620.000 units.

Sales of gasoline-powered hybrid vehicles, electric motors and other media increased by 7,3% to 600.000 units.

With automakers focused on developing such electrified vehicles, in December Toyota Motor Corp. has partially revamped its Prius hybrid, and Honda Motor Co. has completely revamped its Insight hybrid.

Meanwhile, sales of electric vehicles fell by 26,6 percent to 10 thousand from the previous year.

Electric vehicle sales declined as the excitement of new car launches declined as their adoption by buyers reached the full cycle. In addition, consumers were frustrated by the high prices of electric cars and the scarcity of recharging facilities.

Sales of plug-in hybrid vehicles, which combine a gasoline engine with an electric motor, fell by 28,9% to 8.200 units, while sales of emission-free fuel cell vehicles - known as “green cars” - totaled 390. units.

According to research firm Fuji Keizai, global electric car sales are expected to grow to 11,25 million units in 2035, about 15 times the number in 2017, while hybrid sales are expected to be 4,2 million units.

While sales of hybrid vehicles are likely to remain strong in the domestic market for now, Japanese automakers are rushing to develop electric sports vehicles, as SUVs are popular overseas.

Source: Yomiuri Shimbun


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