The Meeting Place

Which car is most popular?

Registrations of electric vehicles rose sharply in 2020, however petrol-powered vehicles still dominate the fleet, according to newly released Motor Vehicle Census data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

"While electric vehicles are still small in number, less than 0.1 per cent of the fleet, the 14,253 electric vehicles registered in 2020 is almost double the previous year," said Sarah Kiely, Director of ABS Transport Statistics.

There were 19.8 million registered vehicles in Australia on 31 January 2020, an increase of 1.5 per cent from 2019.

Diesel registrations grew again in 2020, with diesel powered vehicles now comprising 25.6 per cent of the national fleet.

Petrol powered vehicles in 2020 account for 72.7 per cent of the fleet, down from 73.6 per cent in 2019.

While the national vehicle fleet grew by 1.5 per cent between 2019 and 2020, this was a slower rate of growth than the previous year.

All states and territories reported a slowdown in growth in 2020, with the exception of Tasmania (remaining steady at 2.6 per cent) and Western Australia (1.5 per cent growth, up from 0.6 per cent in 2019). The Northern Territory was the only state or territory to record an overall fall in the number of vehicles registered, with a decrease of 0.7 per cent.

Toyota continued to hold out top spot as the most popular vehicle make registered in Australia, with 3.0 million Toyotas registered in 2020.

Registrations of Holdens and Fords continue to decrease, with both falling by 5.8 per cent from 2019.

Despite the decline, Holden remains the second most popular make and Ford comes in at fourth.

Mazda retains its place as the third most popular make registered in Australia and Hyundai rounds out the top five.

Would you buy an electric vehicle as your next car?


Maybe I would IF they traveled a lot of KLM -- and not just a few hundred and if there where many places to top up


In my opinion in Australia the way to go is with a hybrid but they seem to be comparatively very expensive

..... there is insufficient inrastructure for all electric cars

.... suppose the main cities will have adequate charging stations sooner than the rural areas.

Of interest is a hybrid with a solar sunroof.

Toyota Prius Prime Solar Roof Available in Japan | Details, Specs ...

Toyota Prius with sunroof


I like the idea of generating electricity as you drive.

Runs the ventalation system when parked. May trickle charge the battery but won't do much, not enough current generated.

Yes I would buy an electric car but first we need reduced tax and they need to be cheaper, we need more infrastructure for them too. If I lived in a city I would definately buy one but living rural it is a bit more risky. Australia needs to catch up with the rest of the world on this, will be fantastic for clean air, get sick of breathing in petrol fumes when I go for a bike ride down to the post office, especially diesel. Imagine what it is doing to our health.

How about comparing towing vehicles! Since a lot of people tow caravans , boats,jet skis,etc!!

Hello Life Choices Team,

Thank you again for you valuable information - very much appreciated. Re Which car is the most popular, can you reveal thich car the ABS stats indicate as themost popular? Your article mentions the most popular BRAND (we all knew that), bu which actual car IS the most popular?


Roger McFarlane

ABS page doesn't show this but the most popular models sold last year according to Carsguide are ...

With the cost of electricity always going up and the reliability going down I would hesitate to buy an electric car unless it was a second car. Perhaps we need an alternative to the fuel guzzling cars we drive especially in the cities. Make TukTuks legal and I would gladly buy one for my running about. Cheap as chips to run and easy to park. Billions of Asian TukTuk drivers swear by/at  them :)  

They could easily be run on solar power on the roof.

Incognito - Haha, good one. Yes so simple why didn't the world's car manufacturers think of that.



"Would you buy an electric vehicle as your next car?"

No is the short answer and that is made purely on how we use our car. There are too many questions to which I cannot get any answers that stop the purchase of an electric vehicle.

When the battery is getting low on charge, does the vehicle slow down?

What is the limit for towing a caravan, boat, box trailer?

How much is the cost of charging from the electricity grid?

How long does it take to recharge a battery?

There are many service stations for fuel available, will there be as many electric charging points for electric vehicles?

Is the amount of electricity used from the grid fully offset by the distance a vehicle can travel between charges?

How much will it cost to travel from north of Sydney to Melbourne in an electric vehicle as opposed to a fuel powered vehicle if the cost of accommodation is factored in?

Any answers to any of the above questions will be welcomed.

A lot of those question have different answers depending on which car you used. Just like petrol/diesel cars some use far more energy than others.


No the vehicle doesn't slow down.

Towing - Depends on car, just like a petrol/diesel car.

How much is the electricty at home, 100+ different providers all charge differently.

How low to charge - again depends on car.

There are obviously not as many charging points at this time, demand will dictate supply.

Not sure what accommodation has to do with it, Syd - Mel can be done in a day in all vehicle types, charging doesn't take that long, charge at morning tea and/or lunch and/or afternoon tea. Should be having breaks anyway along the way.


The internet has answers to most of your questions for each car on the market, just keep in mind different cars use resources more/less just like current petrol/diesel cars.


Thanks Greg, your answers are not very conclusive and I took your advice to check the internet which, as we all know, is full of interesting information. If I fully charge my electric vehicle and set off from Gosford heading to Melbourne, I can expect to have 6 recharging stops, each of 75 minutes and adding that to the expected travel time of 9¾ hours we arrive at a travel time of 17¼ hours. Maybe an overnight stay would be expected?

Don't know how you calculated 6 recharges, even with a Hyundai Ioniq which is one of the lesser performing electric vehicles (range wise) you would only need 3 charges on the trip. That's using the 300 odd range they have, better EV's go up to 500 so would only need one charge.

Of course these things aren't perfect for rural travel, their main design currently is for metro trips which they do excel at. If you buy now I would say you're an "early adopter" and that can be diffficult for any product. 

Buy a Tesla, 500 kms, lightning acceleration and very comfortable. No, I don't have one.


No..I would not buy an all electric car at this particular time. I am confident however that there will come a day when it will be the best form of transport.

I am very happy with our hybrid.

Mazda have abandoned the electric option, as they rightly claim that climate damage caused by producing electricity and batteries, is worse than that caused by non-electric vehicles.




Don't know where you get that idea, they just started production of the MX-30 in May, pre-orders being taken in the UK.


From what I can gather, Mazda Australia has only delayed their decision on whether to import the MX-30 electric car.

Your linked article was written two years ago, since than they have released the MX-30 Electric Car. The article states “Each region and market has different methods of electricity generation,” he told the publication. “So we have to look at how the electricity is generated in each region. In some regions, it might be clean, so EVs are a good fit."

No where does the article state they have "abandoned the electric option", it says they are till "focusing" on ICEs.



The lack of government incentives in Australia is severely limiting the take-up of electric vehicles. But of even more concern is the lack of infrastructure. Even the UK is now recognising that the number of their charge points (and they have a lot more of them than we do!) and where they are located, is woefully inadequate. You can read more, including what EVs are planned for Australia in 2020, here:

Blossom - there are six charging stations in Adelaide and one wherever there is a power point, literally millions.

I'm surprised you did not include hybrid vehicles as a separate category, or even mention them in this article. I live in a rural area, where an electric car would be totally unsuitable for most of the travel I do. However, a hybrid is ideal.

The size of the electric car is not suitable for a family, nor is there enough boot space.

At least with petrol/ LPG combination there is family aize cars with decent size boot space.

If there was more Natural Gas Outlets more people would probably use that.

To my knowledge there is only one outlet in Adelaide so it is not suitable for country trips.

I know a company that used a truck as a trial with the idea of getting more. It simply wasn't practical given that there was only one outlet in Adelaide.

Also all small body cars the rear seat is not wide enough to have a combination of 3 babyseats/child booster seats.

You definitely need a wide body vehicle to fit 3. Even in an old Commodore, 3 side by side a touching firmly against each other - right to the edge of the seat.