Vehicle sales surge as Aussies go electric

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The Australian vehicle market has posted its best August result for five years, with a 17 per cent surge in demand as sales of electric cars hit record levels.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries says 95,256 new vehicles were retailed last month, up from 81,199 in the same month last year, the best August result since 2017.

Sales of electric cars accounted for 4.4 per cent of total demand, the best monthly result for battery-powered vehicles in Australia.

"We have seen strong sales of battery electric vehicles in August, with Tesla alone selling 3397 vehicles," FCAI chief executive Tony Weber said.

"Year-to-date EV sales are two per cent of the total market, hybrids are 7.6 per cent and plug-in hybrid vehicles are 0.6 per cent.

"Combined electrified vehicles are now just over 10 per cent of total sales in 2022."

Mr Weber said the overall August result was also a positive sign for the industry after two years of constrained supply, due to both the COVID-19 pandemic and a shortage of computer chips.

"This gives hope that the supply of vehicles to the Australian market is beginning to show signs of improvement," he said.

The August result took total sales so far this year to 717,575, still down on the 732,828 sold at the same time in 2021.

Toyota was the market leading company last month selling 20,616 vehicles ahead of Mazda on 8824, Kia (6780), Hyundai (6643) and Mitsubishi (6380).

The Toyota Hi-Lux was the top-selling vehicle with 6214 ahead of the Ford Ranger with 4497, Toyota's RAV4 with 2482 and Tesla's Model 3 on 2380.