Sales of hybrid-powered Toyotas have grown 40 percent in a year as an anti-diesel mood in the UK strengthens. Amongst retail customers, the growth in hybrid sales is even more significant, with registrations increasing 47.8 percent in Q1 2017. Overall, 38 percent of all new Toyotas sold in the UK is now a petrol-electric hybrid.

It helps that the firm sells no fewer than seven hybrid variants. The Yaris sold the most, with 2,480 cars registered in March 2017, following by the Auris Hybrid on 2,432. The new C-HR outsold the RAV4 Hybrid by a clear margin, with the pioneering Prius down in fifth place. Toyota also recorded sales of the Prius + and the new Prius Plug-in: in total, 9,411 hybrid Toyotas were registered in March.

This has helped it grab a UK market share of 5.34 percent, which beats its previous record high set back in March 2007. Toyota GB president and MD Paul Van der Burgh said if reflected “an important shift in people’s mindset. What we are hearing from customers and from our retailers is that interest in clean powertrain technologies is increasing and that the benefits they have for air quality are becoming an increasingly important consideration when buying a vehicle.

Toyota doesn’t only sell hybrids here, it adds: the engine plant in Deeside, North Wales, builds the 1.8-litre petrol engines that power its larger hybrid models, while the Burnaston car plant manufactures the Auris Hybrid hatch and estate. Certainly justifying the huge cost of developing the Prius almost two decades ago, and then supporting the expensive technology while it gained a foothold in the marketplace: more than 10 million hybrid Toyotas have now been sold…

How diesel is being clobbered in the UK: