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Toyota Hybrid and Plug-in Electric Vehicle Sales Surge - And The Best Is Yet To Come

Toyota's hybrid and EV sales are surging. The great news is that the best green Toyota is not even here yet, the RAV4 Prime.

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Toyota's green vehicle fleet made up of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) is growing by leaps in bounds. Just how large is Toyota's total North American green vehicle sales volume for both its brands combined? If they were a stand-alone brand Toyota hybrids would be as large in sales as Volkswagen in America. Or about 2.5-times larger in sales than all of Infiniti in America.

Toyota's total green vehicle sales surged to 27,274 units in November. That is up from 16,496 last November, a 60% increase year over year. Year to date, Toyota's two brands have sold just under a quarter-million green vehicles in America. Up 26% year over year to date. Toyota should finish up the year having sold just under 300,000 green vehicles. That total should end up about 50% higher in total than Tesla's total U.S. sales.

What makes Toyota green vehicle sales so unusual is the broad scope of the offerings Toyota gives consumers. Would you like a 40 MPG crossover? No problem. How about a 133 MPGe five-passenger car. Got one on the showroom floor right next to it. How about three different cars under $30K with a 50 MPG or better rating. Yes, in fact, all in a row.

Perhaps you live on the West Coast and want to drive something other than a Tesla Model 3. We are not sure why you would, but Toyota offers a fuel-cell EV if you want to be unique. Toyota will sell (or lease) about 1600 of those this year. Over at Lexus, there are seven luxury green vehicles from which to choose. Seven. Including two crossovers.

The fun part of this story is that Toyota is about to launch its best-ever green vehicle, the RAV4 Prime. This new plug-in crossover will have an astounding 90 MPGe rating, standard all-wheel drive, and a 0-60 MPH time under six seconds. And after-tax breaks and incentives will likely cost some buyers under $30K.

Toyota has already had two prior all-electric versions of the RAV4. This new plug-in crossover will build upon the lessons learned by those two prior ones. Watch for Toyota green vehicle sales to continue their upward climb in 2020.

In addition to covering green vehicle topics, John Goreham covers safety, technology, and new vehicle news at Torque News. You can follow John on Twitter at @johngoreham.

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DeanMcManis (not verified)    December 11, 2019 - 11:03AM

To me, it is only logical that hybrid and EV sales are going to increase. And Toyota has supported this progressive evolution to electrify automobiles more than any other automaker, short of Tesla. I think that the RAV4 Prime will be a great sales success next year. I do also think that the competition will heat up next year quite a bit with many new BEVs coming out (Tesla Model Y, Ford Mach-E, and many others). But as I have always said, this competition is NOT between hybrids and BEVs, it is between ALL electrified vehicles and the controlling 97% of fossil fueled vehicles. So kudos to Toyota.

Mark Day (not verified)    December 12, 2019 - 4:08AM

Re: "...The Best Is Yet To Come" - Unless I've test driven a vehicle I would be reluctant to regard it as "best". And with a CVT automatic, chances are not positive for a favorable driving experience. The complications of combining IC engines with electric motors might be appealing for leasing, but I'm not sure I'd be a buyer for the long term (post warranty).

Charles Roberts (not verified)    December 14, 2019 - 9:16PM

Toyota is selling hybrids as fast as they hit the dealerships. The RAV4 Prime is the next step. Likely Corolla Prime, Highlander Prime etc to follow. Slow, steady and dominant.