This past weekend, on the Sunday 25th March, MTA Queensland held its first ever Cars & Coffee Event with over 70 vehicles on display. Along with many vintage, classic, race and exotic cars we also had a couple of HEV/EVs which was fantastic to see! The event is happening on the last Sunday of every month, from 7.30am-9.30am at MTA Queensland’s head office. It would be excellent to see more HEV/EVs next time, showcasing the classics side-by-side with the cars of the future.

In my last newsletter I spoke about the research I undertook in the United Kingdom (UK) and the help Professor Raj Aggaral and Professor Surendra Kawshik were willing to give to me.

I also took it upon myself while in the UK to interview owners and taxi drivers who use and love HEV/EVs to understand how different the mindset is compared to your average Australian consumer.

In the UK, the Government offers incentives of up to £5,000 (approx. $9,200 AUD) for the public to buy electric vehicles and £8,000 (approx. $14,650 AUD) for commercial use of HEVs making the average age of UK fleets 7.5 years old. In addition to this, manufacturers also offer up to £5,000 (approx. $9,200 AUD) to get older petrol vehicles off the road creating a huge incentive for consumers to buy a HEV/EV.

To understand this further I sought out and spoke to Steve Knight – Toyota Sales Controller from Platinum Toyota Motor Park Trowbridge Wiltshire, UK.

In the Toyota Showroom they had eight vehicles; six were hybrids. Steve advised me that 50 per cent of the sales are hybrid vehicles and this is increasing at a rapid rate. Steve said, “It doesn’t take a lot to convince the UK public to purchase hybrid vehicles; there’s a lot of savings in fuel but also in servicing.”

The C/HR (pictured) starts at £23,000 (approx. $42,000 AUD) with the top of the range model coming in at £28,000 (approx. $51,300 AUD).

In future editions of the newsletter I will write about individuals from the general public who have moved from petrol to hybrid vehicles and discuss their thoughts.