Jan.-April hybrid car registrations jump 41 pct in S. Korea

South Korea's hybrid vehicle registrations jumped 41 percent in the January-April period from a year earlier amid slowing sales of electric vehicles, a market tracker said Thursday. The number of newly registered gasoline hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars jumped to 129,201 units in the first four months from 91,750 in the year-ago period, CarIsYou said in a statement. In the four-month period, 91 percent of new hybrid car registrations were from Hyundai Motor Co. and its smaller affiliate Kia Corp., while Japanese brands -- Honda Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp. and its luxury brand Lexus -- accounted for 5.7 percent and the remainder by other brands. As for the ratio of hybrid models out of the carmakers' total car registrations, Lexus, Toyota and Honda posted high ratios of 97.8 percent, 93.6 percent and 53.9 percent, respectively, the statement said. Hyundai and Kia's ratios of hybrid models were relatively lower at 34.8 percent and 39.3 percent, respectively, during the same period. Bestselling gasoline hy brid models were Kia's Sorento SUV, Hyundai's Santa Fe SUV and Lexus' ES300h sedan. BMW's X5 SUV topped others among plug-in hybrid models, it said. "Demand for gasoline hybrid models is expected to remain strong for the time being, but in the long term, sales of EVs will rebound if governments come up with solutions for EVs' high prices and lack of charging infrastructure," CarIsYou said.