Skip to main content

Toyota Prius Prime Is the Top-Selling Affordable EV In America For 2018

The pricey Tesla Model 3 sales uptick keeps It ahead of the more affordable Toyota Prius Prime, but not by much.


The Tesla Model 3 was predicted by Elon Musk to have been selling in the 20,000 per month range by now. As we all know, that has not happened. Not even close. However, Tesla is now seeing monthly sales figures that give owners hopes they will see an invitation to configure their reserved Model 3 sometime before 2020. With the Model 3 continuing to gain production capacity it has now taken over the number one spot for electric vehicle sales in America. What may be surprising to some is just how close the Toyota Prius Prime is in its number two position.

As always, Tesla has not issued any statement on how many of its $45K+ Model 3 cars it sold in February (or "delivered" if you prefer). Inside EVs continues to be the best source for estimations based on vehicle registrations and other data Tesla can’t hide. The publication estimates Tesla sold 2,485 Model 3s last month. That is a nice uptick from the 1,875 Tesla was able to push out the door in January, but anyone still holding out hope that Elon’s promise that sales would increase exponentially would hold true is going to be again disappointed.

While 2,485 units sold in a month is good news and the production curve is getting steeper, other EVs have topped that number in the past. What may be the biggest surprise to those who don’t read Torque News’ monthly coverage of the EV market is that the Toyota Prius Prime, which starts at $27,995, roughly half the price of the Model 3, has moved up from being the forth-best-selling EV in America in 2017 to be in the number two position year-to-date for 2018. Among affordable EVs, the Prius Prime is now number one. The Prius Prime PHEV is now almost 1,000 units ahead of the Bolt which holds the number three position. In February, Toyota sold 2,050 Prius Primes. The Model 3 and Prius Prime are the only EVs to have topped 2,000 units in any given month this year so far.

The expectation is that Tesla will continue to enable more Model 3 capacity and continue to pull ahead of the pack. What will be very interesting to watch is whether the Prius Prime can outpace the rest of the EV-field and stake its claim as the number one affordable electric vehicle choice in America for 2018.

Related Topic: 2018 Electric Vehicle Forecast - Winner and Losers