Hooray! Finally! The percentage of Belgians taking into account the ecological aspect when purchasing a new car is rising. And it even gets better. Research has shown that for 74% of Belgians, the ecological aspect is of great importance when purchasing a new vehicle and hybrid-electric cars are reaching top sales in Belgium.
Pioneer Toyota left trodden paths with its electro-hybrid cars – Photo Anja Van Der Borght
Toyota for instance is recording a record of 4,290 hybrid-electric vehicles sold in the first four months of 2018. More than half (56.8%) of all newly registered Toyota models in Belgium in the first four months of 2018 are equipped with a hybrid electric motor, with which you can drive electrically 50 to 70% of the time. A trend which is seen all over Europe: in the first quarter of 2018, Toyota sold no less than 113,100 hybrid-electric models. A growth of 20 percent compared to the first quarter of 2017.
Toyota Yaris – the cheapest hybrid on our market – Photo Anja Van Der Borght
Toyota ranks clearly in the top three of best-selling hybrid electric cars in Belgium. The Toyota C-HR (1,307 hybrid models sold in the period from January to April 2018) is the most popular, the Toyota Auris (with 1.165 hybrids sold) and the Toyota Yaris (with 984 hybrids sold) conclude the top three. With a price of only 18.610 euros, the latter is the cheapest hybrid on the Belgian market. And it drives great, you will be able to read in our next Toyota test drive post.
Strong growth since 1998
Since the first hybrid – the Prius was launched in 1995 and has been available in Belgium since 1998 – more than 12 million hybrid cars have been sold worldwide. Good for fuel savings of over 29 billion liters and a reduction of 77 million tons of CO2 emissions. In Belgium, 65,829 Toyota hybrids have been sold in the past two decades. Timothy Manuel, Managing Director Toyota & Lexus Belux: “Belgians are getting more and more convinced of the advantages of hybrid-electric driving. Air pollution and particulate matters are current issues that we are worrying about. Driving hybrid offers a solution for those issues, so we can make a positive impact without too many extra efforts. A positive evolution that Belgians are more open to than ever before. ”
Same driving style, but less emissions
A hybrid electric motor has the main advantage that you do not have to adjust your driving behavior as a user. The electric and gasoline engines work together. For the petrol engine you fuel, the electric motor gets power from a battery. This battery is automatically charged during braking, deceleration and coasting. “And yet almost 1 in 2 Belgians still think that you have to charge a hybrid car*, continues Timothy Manuel. “We know that charging is an obstacle for many people. They do not have a charging station at home or at work, and especially do not feel like having cables. With a self-charging hybrid this is not necessary, and you drive 50 to 70% of the time electrically. The profit is double: less fuel and less polluting emissions.”
Research conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Toyota with 924 Belgians in June 2017