Hybrids outsell EVs in 2023 so far: Is Toyota's hybrid bet paying off?

In 2023, Toyota and Maruti sold 14,220 vehicles with hybrid drivetrains.

BHPian pqr recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

  • In 2023, Toyota and Maruti sold 14,220 vehicles with hybrid drivetrains.
  • Which is 2.1% of total passenger vehicles sold in 2023.
  • BEV sales in 2023 is 11,038 units, which is 1.6% of the total passenger vehicle market in 2023.
  • Tata Motors has an 82% share of the Indian BEV market.
  • The Tata Tiago EV is the best-selling electric vehicle in 2023.
  • With limited BEV production capacity, Tata seems to have prioritized Tiago EV supply in early 2023.

Note: Toyota Vellfire sales are at 82; Bubble is excluded from the current chart as it is an outlier.

Here's what BHPian SoumenD had to say on the matter:

Pretty obvious isn’t it? I mean no matter what one says, we are just taking baby steps in terms of EV infrastructure.

Hybrid is tailor made for India in absence of diesels. With scale I hope the prices come down and they become accessible to more and more people.

Here's what BHPian ninjatalli had to say on the matter:

Those sales are because of Toyota's particular model (Innova for eg) success and not the hybrid drivetrains. If it was the opposite, the Camry would be selling a lot more than the 100-odd it did. The combination of Toyota (&Maruti) reliability + successful brand (Innova, etc) is the reason for the numbers.

Toyota is playing the catch-up game as seen on the global EV scene, although they now state that they aren't placing all their eggs only in one basket. A true comparison would be if they (Maruti or Toyota) had an EV option next to the hybrid drivetrain option, but that unfortunately is not going to be so for a while.

Here's what BHPian ron178 had to say on the matter:

Clearly Toyota and Maruti have the upper hand here. By pricing their products well they are encouraging adoption, even if the selling point is the car rather than the powertrain. Interesting to see that the Camry features on the chart, but the Honda City e:HEV doesn't! Hopefully the Elevate is priced more competitively because they don't have the first mover's advantage.

Here's what BHPian On4Wheels had to say on the matter:

It is too early to say whether the Toyota's bet is getting paid off or not. However, I think Toyota's decision to bring the hybrid technology to India is the best decision that they have ever taken for Indian market. Currently, the EV owners are in honeymoon period: the scenario will be entirely different once the volume increases. The uncertainty over the diesel engines (DPF issues and 10 year scrapping policy) makes the hybrids sweeter. Also, any increase in fuel price will definitely force more customers to move to hybrid. Above all, considering the complexity of Indian power scenario, I think, more and more buyers may gravitate to hybrid because of the following reasons:

  • Meeting the increase in per capita power consumption itself is a challenging task. The EVs will definitely make the power deficit wider which may lead to load shedding and power cuts.
  • The existing supply chain for the petroleum products is extremely good and hence, there is no uncertainty about the availability of the petrol/diesel and there by no range uncertainties also.
  • I think, the transition to EV ecosystem due to the obligations of Paris Agreement will be slow in India due to many factors viz., lack of infrastructure, electrical energy demand etc. Hence, to keep the pollution in check, government may take steps to promote the hybrid cars.
  • Currently, there is a good number car owners who do not have own parking place and it will be difficult for those owners to migrate to EV. Also, it will be difficult for multi-car owners to charge more than one EV at home.
  • At present, we wait five to 10 minutes in cities to fuel the car (a queue of two to three vehicle). The hybrid car reduces the frequency of fueling. Whereas, the EV owner would be waiting in the queue to get his car charged and even if we get a charging infrastructure comparable to present fuel stations, we may have to wait at least one hour to put the car in charging.
  • The acceptance of hybrid technology to the mass market would be faster when compared to EV technology.

Further, I think, the decision to discontinue the diesel engines by Maruti Suzuki was right. Many other manufacturers were forced to take the decision later. Similarly, I think, Toyota and Suzuki has made a right decision in bringing the hybrids to market. I personally feel that the automatic switching between the battery and the engine brings lots of comforts to the driver and other road users, especially in heavy traffic conditions.

Here's what BHPian Nilesh5417 had to say on the matter:

Am with you on the view that it is honeymoon period of EVs. The escalation in electricity prices is nothing short of electrifying. 6% inflation in electricity prices every 2-3years is what I read somewhere. And if you are in the state of MH or Telangana, you are already paying 12-15rs for all units above 300. That's still much much cheaper than fossil fuels today barring the infra issues that prevent mass adoption.
Now 10yrs down the line, broadly speaking, I don't think running an EV is going to be any cheaper than what running a diesel car today is going to be. India's power sector is really really in need of desparate overhaul. It is bankrupting states like no other business is. Someday the party will end and i suspect the impact on middle-class as always will be significant. Only thing that will keep the cars going, EVs maybe, is lack of options- the government will probably leave you no choice but to buy an EV or some alternate fuel prevailing at that time under the garb of some law or other.
Though I doubt any industry is going to get green as aggressively as individuals will be forced into it.

With the benefit of hindsight, even I think MSIL read the scenario specific to India very well. That or they had insider information on how fast/slow the government was going to push the EV ecosystem.

Here's what BHPian audioholic had to say on the matter:

All it needs is a Maruti or a Toyota EV to completely reverse this statistic So I am not sure how this comparison even holds good except for the numbers itself which is good to know. What would be more interesting is to see how ICE cars and EV+Hybrid cars sell against each other in our market. I am sure there will be a nice trend line that will be formed.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

Redlining the Indian Automotive Scene