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Tim Dornin

Aussie electric vehicle sales charge ahead

More than 7000 electric cars were sold last month, eclipsing demand for hybrid vehicle models. (Dan Peled/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

Demand for electric cars continues to grow as the Australian vehicle market's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic gains pace.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) says 93,555 new cars and trucks were sold in September, a 12.3 per cent improvement on the same month last year.

That took demand over the first nine months of 2022 to 811,130, now just 0.6 per cent down on the same period in 2021.

Notably, 7247 battery electric cars were sold last month, more than the demand for hybrid and plug-in hybrid models combined.

Tesla also claimed third spot among the best-selling cars with its Model Y beaten only by the Toyota HiLux and the Ford Ranger.

FCAI chief executive Tony Weber said the rising demand for electric vehicles signalled that a growing number of Australians were committed to decarbonising their transport choices.

"While the overall market share of battery electric vehicles remains low (2.7 per cent), there is a clear market trend towards zero-emission technology," Mr Weber said.

The latest vehicle sales figures follow the federal government's call for submissions to help shape an electric vehicle strategy.

The strategy will seek to make EVs more affordable, expand the choice available to buyers, reduce overall vehicle emissions, save Australians money on fuel, and increase local manufacturing.

Mr Weber said Australia's pathway to decarbonising light transport was complex and required a holistic policy framework.

"Any future policy and regulation need to be developed within the context of vehicle price, model availability and battery supply, and supported through the rollout of charging infrastructure and consumer incentives," he said.

On the broader market result, Mr Weber said supplies of new cars to the local market were showing signs of improvement.

But he said some logistical and supply chain issues remained as the global automotive market recovered from the coronavirus pandemic.

Toyota led the market in September selling 14,852 vehicles ahead of Kia on 7290, Mazda with 7259, Mitsubishi with 6784 and Ford with 6635.

The Toyota HiLux was the best seller with 5170, ahead of the Ford Ranger on 4890, the Tesla Model Y on 4359, Mazda's CX-5 on 2439 and the Mitsubishi Triton on 2319.

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