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Hybrid sales on the march

Diesel passenger car sales for both private and business buyers is falling as more and more cleaner and more fuel efficient petrol engines arrive. However, what is showing growth is hybrid passenger vehicles and last month, compared with August last year, hybrid sales to private buyers rose by 79.6%, non-private hybrid sales rising by 35.2%. And of course there are some very good hybrid vehicles on the market, not the least the Toyota Camry Hybrid which now makes up the lion share of our taxi fleets. Interestingly, when I ask most cab drivers what they think of their Camry Hybrid most are not aware they are driving a petrol-electric hybrid. I recently tested the Lexus LS500h 10-speed automatic – a 3.5-litre V6 hybrid with a sticker nearing $200,000 – a simply superb long-wheelbase saloon – economy of just 6.6L/100 for such a heavy car impressive – the electric motor takes you to around 40km/hour and providing a boost to the 3.5-litre petrol V6 when required. I’m David Berthon

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