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Electric buzz powers up Aussie car market

Australia's automotive industry has posted its best February result in four years, buoyed by the growing demand for electric and low-emission cars.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries says 86,878 vehicles were delivered last month, a 1.8 per cent improvement on the same month last year and the best February performance since 2019.

Sales of battery electric vehicles climbed to 5932, or 6.8 per cent of total demand, compared to just 600 in the same month of 2022.

"Growing sales of electric vehicles proves that where a battery electric product exists which suits the driving habits, needs and finances of Australian motorists, they will purchase these vehicles," FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber said.

The wider demand for low-emission vehicles, including battery electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid models, accounted for 12,102 sales, or 13.9 per cent of the market, up from 9048 in February last year.

"The number of low-emission vehicle sales demonstrates that there is an appetite among Australians for environmentally friendly vehicles," Mr Weber said.

"However, if we wish to accelerate this transition to a broader range of consumers in all parts of the country, Australia needs to adopt a fuel efficiency standard."

Toyota led the market in February selling 14,332 vehicles ahead of Mazda with 7667, Ford with 6022, Kia with 6000 and Hyundai on 5504.

The Ford Ranger was the top-selling model with 4473 units ahead of Toyota's Hi-Lux on 3939 and Tesla's Model 3 on 2671.

The strong February result for the industry took demand so far this year to 171,751, a 6.5 per cent improvement on the same period last year.