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2018 Toyota Prius Prime Plug-In Tops Sierra Club List of Best EVs

A new list published by the Sierra Club of the 6 best EVs in America starts with the Toyota Prius Prime.


A new list of the 6 Best 2018 EVs compiled by respected automotive and environmental writer, Jim Motavalli for the Sierra Club begins with the Toyota Prius Prime. The Prime is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). That means that not only is it an electric vehicle that can travel to and from work using only electric power, but it can also set out on longer journeys with zero range anxiety. With its 640 mile range before needing energy, the Prius Prime can be a family's primary vehicle, rather than a secondary green car for use only in certain situations.

Prius Prme EPA data

Motavalli says of the Toyota Prius Prime, "The Prime is a big step up from the first Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid." Motavalli added, "Based on this model's 25 miles of battery-only range, it will save the average commuter $561 a year in fueling costs, compared with driving the average car. With savings like that, the quirky styling will grow on you." We wish to point out that according to the EPA, the Prime actually saves drivers an average of $950 per year, not $561.

The Prius Prime isn't just Mr. Motavalli's top EV pick, the Prius Prime is also the top-selling affordable EV on the market today. And has been for about a year. With dealers delivering Prius Prime cars to new owners in EV targeted markets for under $20K after incentives and discounts, it is also one of the most affordable cars - period.

That affordability does not come at the expense of safety. The Prius Prime is an IIHS Top Safety Pick.


DeanMcManis (not verified)    September 27, 2018 - 11:43AM

The Prius Prime's competitive price and long total range are definite advantages, but 25 EV miles is getting to be on the low side for PHEVs, with the Volt offering more than twice that EV range. Even though Toyota has announced a big push towards BEVs (like VW) last year, so far they are only releasing their pure electric cars in China. With the Prius Prime's strong sales, it shows that buyers want more battery options than in the regular non-plug-in hybrids, but they need to move in the BEV direction quickly to avoid losing the lead that they gained in creating the Prius hybrids in the first place.

John Goreham    September 27, 2018 - 12:03PM

In reply to by DeanMcManis (not verified)

Good observations. So far, Toyota has the current top-selling affordable EV (Prime), was the first to market with a moderately-priced BEV compact crossover (RAV4EV), and is racking up big numbers (relatively speaking) with its crossover hybrids. Anyone who doubts the most profitable automaker on the planet won't be able to produce competitive EVs when the market matures has a pretty hard case to make. Spend some time on the Facebook Prius Prime owners' club and you will hear from the owners that the majority use their Prime as an almost entirely EV-only vehicle. 25 miles works great for the majority of their daily trips and they can then operate above 50 MPG on longer, occasional trips. As battery density improves and costs decline, the PHEVs will have ever-increasing range on EV-only power. For me personally, the most exciting EV of any kind is the Mistu Outlander PHEV. It's the first to combine affordability, 25 miles of EV-only operation, AWD, in a true crossover design. They sell in my area for about $29K fully loaded after incentives and discounts. If Toyota simply copies that formula it could own the affordable electrified crossover market.